Bill Cosby sex assault case in hands of jury
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 16:25
Chief among those witnesses was Andrea Constand, the former Temple employee who says that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in January 2004. The iconic comedian faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
The fate of comedian Bill Cosby is now in the hands of the jury after both sides wrapped up their cases Monday in his sexual assault trial near Philadelphia.
The deposition seemed to be of keen interest to the jury, which asked to review more than a dozen additional excerpts when they resume deliberations Tuesday morning.
Defense attorney Brian McMonagle told the jury that Cosby and Constand were lovers who had enjoyed secret "romantic interludes", insisting the 2004 encounter was consensual.
As expected, Cosby did not testify and when the judge asked him if that was his choice, he responded in a loud voice: "Correct!" He said it was up to the jury to determine what it means.
Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with his wife Camille Cosby, right, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 12, 2017.
Andrea Constand is one of 59 women who have accused Cosby of rape, attempted assault, sexual harassment or sexual assault. If convicted, the 79-year-old Cosby could go to prison for decades.
Earlier Monday, Cosby's lawyers put on a case consisting of just one witness and six minutes of testimony before resting their case, calling the detective who led the 2005 investigation. Cosby's spokesman suggested last week that the comic might take the stand, but his lawyers were mum. She testified he offered her three blue pills that he said were herbal and would help her relax. "They'll take the edge off", Cosby told her, she testified.
McMonagle said he was working to "right a awful wrong" by representing Cosby, and said jurors looking to do the same should return a verdict of not guilty. Cosby then placed her on the couch and sexually assaulted her without her consent, she said.
The extramarital affair was an example of a flaw in Cosby's character, and not criminal behavior, McMonagle said. "I just wanted to go home".
During the defense closing argument, Camille Cosby and Constand sat in front rows in the courtroom, only feet apart.
And Cosby did not testify.
In his argument, McMonagle emphasized that Cosby consistently portrayed the encounter as consensual. He countered inconsistencies pointed out by the defense by bringing up all the ways which Constand's story had remained consistent over more than a decade.
"McMonagle focused on Constand's shifting story, pointing out that she changed her estimate of when the alleged assault occurred several times in speaking with police in 2005". However, she testified that she had been alone in a hotel room with Cosby beforehand, and that there were 72 calls between the two afterward. "It was a lot of confusion putting a lot of dates together".
From her prime seat, Cosby's wife heard her husband's lawyer blame his legal woes on the supposed lies, greed and vanity of his accusers.
He also said he gave Constand three half-tablets of the cold and allergy medicine Benadryl before the "petting" began.
In a 2005 deposition for the civil lawsuit, Cosby admitted to giving women alcohol and Quaaludes when he wanted to have sex with them.
He allegedly gave her pills that paralyzed her and left her unable to resist when he started touching her in his Philadelphia home. The district attorney at the time declined to press charges, citing insufficient evidence. Other than in the Constand case, Cosby has never been criminally charged in any other alleged incident, and has denied them all.
The criminal case was reopened in 2015, after his previously-sealed testimony from the civil proceedings was made public.
Then he pivoted to a list of charges and the law behind each one, on plain black and white slides, marking off checks for each part of the case he believed met the burden of the law.
ALLYN: More than 50 women have accused Cosby of uninvited sexual advance, but nearly all of the cases were too old to prosecute.