Andrea Constand's victim-impact statement was released on Tuesday before Bill Cosby's sentencing hearing, in which he was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison. In the five-page letter sent to the judge, Constand, the woman who accused Cosby of drugging and raping her in 2004, explained how the attack changed her life.
Ahead of Cosby's sentencing, which is expected to take place Tuesday afternoon, Judge Steven O'Neill ruled that Cosby is a "sexually violent predator." Cosby now must undergo lifetime counseling and report quarterly to authorities. His name will appear on a sex-offender registry. He faces up to 10 years behind bars.
In her statement, Constand began by explaining what she was like before the attack.
"To truly understand the impact that sexual assault has had on my life, you have to understand the person that I was before it happened," she began. "At the time of the assault, I was 30 years old, and a fit, confident athlete. I was strong, and skilled, with great reflexes, agility and speed."
She explained that after playing college basketball and professional basketball in Europe, she became the administrator for the women's basketball team at Temple University in Philadelphia.
"I was at the top of my game," she wrote of the time. "How wrong I was. In fact, nothing could have prepared me for an evening of January 2004, when life as I knew it came to an abrupt halt."
She then described the assault, in which she said Cosby, who was then a mentor and friend, left her "paralyzed and completely helpless" when he knocked her out with pills and violated her. She said she couldn't move her arms or legs, nor could she speak. "I was completely vulnerable, and powerless to protect myself."
She went on, describing how she coped with the "overwhelming shame" after the attack.
"Self-doubt and confusion kept me from turning to my family or friends as I normally did," she wrote. "I felt completely alone, unable to trust anyone, including myself."
She explained that she still had to interact with Cosby, who was on the board of trustees. When she left her job at Temple, the "pain and anguish came with me."
"I couldn't talk, eat, sleep or socialize. ... I felt more isolated than ever," she wrote, adding that her constant nightmares made her more anxious. "I grew terrified... that the sexual assaults were continuing because I didn't speak out."
When she reported the assault, she wrote, the fear and pain only worsened.
"When the case closed with a settlement, sealed testimony and a non-disclosure agreement, I thought that finally — finally — I could get on with my life, that this awful chapter in my life was over at last. These exact same feeling followed me throughout both criminal trials," she wrote. "The attacks on my character continued, spilling over outside the courtroom steps attempting to discredit me, and cast me in a false light. These character assassinations have caused me to suffer insurmountable stress and anxiety, which I still experience today."
She went on to write that she "had" to testify and that she is "one of the lucky ones."
"Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it. He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature, and my trust in myself and others," she wrote. "We may never know the full extend of his double life as a sexual predator but his decades-long reign of terror as a serial rapist is over."0comments
Read Constand's full victim impact statement in the Twitter thread below.
Prosecutors release Andrea Constand's full 5 page letter to the judge. "I have often asked myself why the burden of being the sole witness in two criminal trials had to fall to me. The pressure was enormous."— Laura McCrystal (@LMcCrystal) September 25, 2018
Cosby was convicted in April of three counts of aggravated indecent assault on Constand, who testified in both of his criminal trials. Some 60 other women have accused him of a litany of drug-facilitated sexual assaults.