Cosby jury ends first day of deliberations without a verdict
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Jun 18, 2017,
Jun 18, 2017, 23:24
Jurors stopped for the day after four hours of deliberations and will return to court Tuesday morning.
The three charges accuse Cosby of assaulting Constand without her consent, assaulting her when she was unconscious, and assaulting her using drugs to substantially impair her ability to consent.
More than 50 women have accused Cosby of drugging or sexually asaulting them, but their testimonies were not allowed to be heard in this case. It was read to them by the judge.
The jury in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial has been sent home after deliberating without reaching a verdict over whether the veteran entertainer drugged and molested a woman more than a decade ago.
Steele said the key facts were not contested during the trial, and have remained consistent in Constand's various statements over time: Cosby got to know her and became a mentor; one night in 2004 he gave her pills at his Cheltenham home and they had a sexual encounter.
Cosby's defense team called just one witness, a police detective, and then rested its case Monday before launching into closing arguments.
McMonagle defended the good faith of his client, saying Cosby had agreed to speak at length to investigators in 2005 when he could have kept silent, and rounded on the press.
"Drugging somebody and putting them in a position where you can do what you want with them is not romantic". Steele said the decision by then District Attorney Bruce Castor's office was a "failure".
Dozens of women have made similar accusations against Cosby, 79, although only Constand has accused him of a crime that allegedly took place recently enough to allow for prosecution. The jury included two black members. Her mother, Gianna Constand, left midway during McMonagle's closing arguments in which he repeatedly branded her daughter as a liar.
Constand initially told police she had not been alone with Cosby before the alleged assault and that she had little contact with him afterward.
"Don't leave your common sense in Pittsburgh."This isn't talking to a trustee".
Defense attorney Brian McMonagle told the jury that the two were lovers who had enjoyed secret "romantic interludes" and that the 2004 encounter was consensual. The repercussions from the case already destroyed the family friendly image of a man whose groundbreaking work in television earned him the nickname America's Dad, and produced a stunning late-in-life downfall of one of the most beloved stars in the entertainment world. The attorney pointed at Cosby's wife of 53 years, Camille Cosby, several times during his closing remarks to emphasize his points.
Constand didn't react to McMonagle's closing but smiled at the end of it.
Constand, 44, testified last week that Cosby gave her three blue pills and then penetrated her with his fingers against her will as she lay paralyzed and half-conscious.
Cosby still faces multiple civil lawsuits by other accusers.
"This is not a civil case about money, money, money". Let's be real. Let's look each other in the eye and talk about why we're here.
Cosby did not take the stand, and the defense rested after just one witness.
"This is where all the fancy lawyering can't get you around your own words", Steele said.
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. Mr Steele said Mr Cosby, a Temple University trustee and the university's most famous alumnus, set his sights on Ms Constand, an employee in the university's athletic department who was 36 years younger than him.
"There are some things in this case that should be fuzzy. Why?" In clear and firm terms, she said Cosby, a powerful Temple alum, mentored her and took an interest in her career like a father figure.
Steele also castigated defense attorneys for raising doubts about Constand's credibility because she waited a year to report the alleged assault and maintained contact with the comedian after the alleged assault.
He also said he gave Ms Constand three half-tablets of the cold and allergy medicine Benadryl before the "petting" began.
Prosecutors suggest Cosby gave her something stronger.
The sole witness for the defense was the detective who led the 2005 investigation, Richard Schaffer, who previously took the stand during the prosecution's case. But experts said the legal risks would be considerable.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand and Johnson have done.