Bill Cosby Trial: Defense Rests After Calling Just One Witness

Frederick Owens
June 24, 2017

A former Temple University employee alleges that Cosby drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. Steele, a career prosecutor whose face turned the shade of a sun-ripened tomato during his close, tried to get jurors to focus on Cosby's admission that he gave pills to his alleged victim, Andrea Constand, that the comedian has testified he called "three friends to help you relax".

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

McMonagle offered a narrative in which Constand had a consensual encounter and was not planning on making a charge - indeed, she had been contacting Cosby, the attorney said, to continue their relationship.

Jurors did hear Cosby's side of the story, though not in his voice.

He also said he gave Constand three half-tablets of the cold and allergy medicine Benadryl before the "petting" began.

"They have been married for over 50 years and she loves him".

Cheltenham Township Police Sgt. Richard Schaffer, a detective who interviewed Cosby in 2005 after Constand accused him of drugging and molesting her at his nearby home was recalled to the stand to answer follow-up questions from McMonagle, which included questions about Cosby's deteriorating vision.

Constand testified last week that Cosby gave her three blue pills and then penetrated her with her fingers against her will as she lay paralyzed and half-conscious.

Because of her condition after being drugged that night, Steele said, Cosby took away Constand's ability to say no to any advances.

As jury deliberations continued on Tuesday, Cosby's spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, released a statement from a woman, Marguerite Jackson, who was barred from testifying as a defense witness.

In closing arguments in Mr Cosby's criminal trial, the lead defence attorney, Brian J. McMonagle, acknowledged that revelations of Mr Cosby's womanising, depictions of him as a philanderer who plied women with charm and drugs, have overtaken his image as a genial comedian and beloved TV dad.

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Some of these women, including Constand, have received cash payouts from Cosby in civil trials, but for numerous allegations the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution had lapsed.

Cosby met Constand in late 2002 when he attended a basketball game at Temple University, his alma mater, in Philadelphia. Authorities had declined to charge Cosby when she first came forward in 2005.

Cosby is not charged with abusing Johnson, but prosecutors called her to the stand in an effort to persuade the jury that he employed a familiar pattern when he allegedly assaulted Constand.

District Attorney Kevin Steele's closing arguments were businesslike and direct.

" 'She'd remember it for the next 365 days and all the days of her life if there were a sexual assault in this case, ' the attorney said".

'Is it your decision not to testify?' Judge Steven O'Neill asked Cosby before the trial resumed since pausing for the weekend.

Cosby's wife of 53 years has given a deposition in the past, but whether she testifies at the trial has not been revealed. "We're talking about all the man's tomorrows", he said.

On day six of the trial, Judge Steven O'Neill asked Cosby a series of questions created to make sure he was aware of his right to testify and wasn't pressured into deciding against it.

During his 90-minute closing statement, McMonagle accused Constand of changing her story over the years, and said it was suspicious that she called a lawyer before she told her family.

The defense had more trouble trying to discredit Constand, 44.

In 2006, Cosby settled a civil lawsuit related to the alleged sexual assault for an undisclosed amount, which was paid to Andrea Constand for her silence.

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