Culture&Arts

Cosby's fate in hands of jury

Cosby's fate in hands of jury

Bill Cosby's accuser Andrea Constand leaves the courtroom after closing arguments in the Cosby trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

District Attorney Kevin Steele's closing arguments were businesslike and direct. During this time, she was still employed by the university and Cosby was still a trustee.

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. Last week, police detectives read aloud his statements to police in 2005 and in his civil deposition in 2006 responding to the allegations. The iconic comedian faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Cosby and Constand were simply a couple, with no assault occurring the night of their encounter in January 2004, lead Cosby lawyer Brian McMonagle told jurors.

A conviction could send Cosby to prison for the rest of his life, completing the stunning late-life downfall of one of the most beloved stars in show business. The jury asked about the phrasing Tuesday morning, but Judge Steven O'Neill said he could not define it for them.

Jurors in Bill Cosby's Pennsylvania sexual assault trial are ending deliberations for the night as of 9:45 p.m.

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

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Cosby is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. She testified he offered her three blue pills that he said were herbal and would help her relax.

"Put them down, they're your friends". Never, was she incapacitated, he told the jurors, who were listening attentively.

"I'm sorry, ma'am", McMonagle said to the long-suffering Camille as he detailed the fallen funnyman's amorous antics. They say Cosby is being prosecuted now because of a media firestorm after excerpts from his lurid deposition became public.

The criminal case focused on the disputed contact between Cosby and just one woman: Constand, a former Temple University women's basketball staffer who says Cosby took advantage of his role as her mentor, and slipped her pills that left her "frozen" and unable to stop him from touching her breasts and genitals. He also said he had previously obtained Quaaludes, a powerful sedative, with the intention of giving them to women with whom he wanted to have sex.

McMonagle told jurors that Cosby's freedom is at stake now, not just his finances. She says they left her semi-conscious. 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 AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done. He pointed out she called Cosby dozens of times after the alleged assault.

"I want you to think about the courage Andrea Constand has had doing what she had to do", he urged the jury. 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.

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As he described reaching into Constand's trousers, Cosby testified, "I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection".

For the prosecution's closing statement, Steele argued that Cosby's own statements showed his guilt. Earlier in the evening, they requested to see the entire context of Cosby's testimony "where he calls the pills his friends".

Johnson is one of more than 60 women to have accused Cosby, with the allegations of sexual assault dating back decades. O'Neill asked Cosby if he discussed the issue with his attorneys and if he understood there is no obligation to testify, as the burden to prove the charges of aggravated indecent sexual assault case lies exclusively with the prosecutors. "And knows the effect of what he gave her".

Bill Cosby's wife, Camille, has arrived at court with him on the sixth day of his sexual assault trial.

Other actors have joined on other trial days, including two appearances by Joe Torry.

Cosby spoke to the court for the first time since the trial began last week, telling O'Neill that he would not testify. His daughters have not done so.

The defense lawyer then made the connection to Cosby, saying that he was flawed, but his entertainment also changed how many saw the world.

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He highlighted inconsistencies from Constand, who initially gave different dates for the alleged assault and varied details about events before and after.


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