World Media

Jury begins deliberating sex charges against Bill Cosby

Share
Jury begins deliberating sex charges against Bill Cosby

The prosecution in the Bill Cosby trial has argued that because Ms. Constand had been drugged prior to the sexual contact that reportedly occurred between herself and Cosby, she was incapable if consenting.

After the prosecution took five days to outline its side, the defense case consisted of just one witness - a detective - and six minutes of testimony Monday.

At the end of last week, a spokesman for Cosby hinted that the entertainer might testify. Last week, police detectives read aloud his statements to police in 2005 and in his civil deposition in 2006 responding to the allegations.

The 79-year-old pioneering black comedian faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, which each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine, in one of America's biggest celebrity trials in years.

Cosby, best known for his role as the dad in the 1980s hit family TV comedy "The Cosby Show", in 2015 was charged with sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in his home in the Philadelphia suburbs, just days before the statute of limitations was to run out.

A conviction could send Cosby to prison for the rest of his life.

The jurors in the trial are Pittsbugh-area residents, who have been brought to the Norristown courthouse at the order of Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O'Neill.

Jurors deliberated for four hours Monday night after hearing closing arguments on the sixth day of the trial.

The prosecution rested its case on Friday after calling 12 witnesses to the stand.

Chief among those witnesses was Andrea Constand, the former Temple employee who says that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in January 2004. Constand said she awoke to Cosby inserting his finger repeatedly into her vagina and putting his penis in her hand, and that she rebuffed him twice before.

"Put them down, they're your friends".

Sworn in briefly outside the presence of the jury, Cosby told O'Neill that he did not intend to testify.

Q: Did you tell her they were Benadryl? Cosby lowered and shook his head in the courtroom as she spoke. He also said that he had previously obtained Quaaludes, a powerful sedative, with the intention of giving them to women with whom he wanted to have sex.

They told the judge they wanted the "full context" of Cosby's testimony about the pills he gave to Constand, which he had described to her as "friends".

He said Constand was tailoring her story to fit a pre-ordained narrative and was continuing to do so even now, citing a detail from her testimony about the consumption of the pills that she had never mentioned before.

Earlier in the day, Brian McMonagle, one of Cosby's lawyers, highlighted Constand's alleged inconsistencies and those of Kelly Johnson, another accuser who testified on Constand's behalf.

"One of the greatest storytellers in the world and I'm failing", Cosby said when asked to repeat an answer in the deposition. In criminal trials, the onus is on prosecutors to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and defendants are not required to take the stand.

The lawyer grew especially excited when he displayed a statement from Constand that the night of the alleged assault, she called Cosby from the street to tell him she was at his home and ask to be let into the driveway.

Jurors also once again heard a recorded phone call between Cosby and Constand's mother, Gianna Constand, during which Cosby can be heard asking if his alleged victim is still interested in pursuing a career in broadcasting before offering to pay for her to go to graduate school.

Mr Schaffer also said police knew Mr Cosby had vision problems more than a decade ago, supporting the actor's claim that he is blind. "I would suggest to you that Andrea Constand is a victim", he said. "This is talking to a lover", McMonagle said, accusing Constand of trying to use Cosby's name for financial gain.

They began deliberations on Monday and have been sequestered at a hotel for the trial's duration, a relatively rare occurrence in the United States criminal justice system.

Share