It's Now Up to The Jury to Decide Bill Cosby's Fate

Danny Woods
June 26, 2017

The jury in Bill Cosby's trial was sent home Monday night after spending about four hours considering the sexual assault allegations against the 79-year-old comedian.

The comedian faces three counts of aggravated sexual assault involving a January 2004 encounter with former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.

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.

On Monday, the question hanging over the trial was whether the TV star himself would testify.

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.

"She said one thing yesterday, another thing today".

His lawyers said in closing arguments Monday that Cosby is being prosecuted now because of a media firestorm after excerpts from his lurid deposition became public.

" 'We're not ideal, are we?' he said, pausing and looking at Camille Cosby, 73".

The defense closed by accusing Constand of lying about an affair with Cosby and concocting the allegations to take advantage of the wealthy, older star.

Defense lawyer Brian McMonagle said Cosby and Ms Constand were lovers who had enjoyed secret "romantic interludes", insisting the 2004 encounter was consensual.

He acknowledged that Cosby gave Constand pills, but they were Benadryl and were meant to ease her tension.

Bill Cosby says he will not testify in his own defence at his sexual assault trial.

Constand said the calls were just business and that Cosby, as a Temple alumnus, could help the basketball team.

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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As expected, Cosby did not testify and when the judge asked him if that was his choice, he responded in a loud voice: "Correct!"

The prosecution rested its case on Friday after five days of testimony from witnesses including Kelly Johnson, who claims Mr Cosby drugged and sexually abused her in 1996 under similar circumstances. She left during the prosecution's closing statement.

In addition, Constand initially told police that she had not been alone with Cosby prior to the alleged assault and that they had little contact after.

Cosby's wife of 53 years, Camille, was in court for the first time in the trial. Constand - an athletic, 6-foot-tall college basketball staffer - said they made her dazed and groggy, and unable to say no or fight back when Cosby went inside her trousers.

Last week, when Deputy District Attorney Kevin Steele and Assistant DA Kristen Feden presented their case against Cosby, Constand stuck to her story, remaining mostly unflappable on cross-examination about questions and discrepancies raised by the defense.

Cosby had said before the trial he would not testify.

Steele said no amount of "fancy lawyering" will save Cosby from his own words.

It was the first time during the trial of the comedian once known as America's Day that a family member was at his side. She was later fired from the agency and no charges were brought against Cosby.

Though dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, Constand's accusations are the only ones that have led to criminal charges. He talks in the deposition of "the penile entrance" and "digital penetration", and he told Constand's mother, when she called to confront him, that her daughter had had an orgasm.

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

The trial will move to closing arguments if no defence witnesses are called.

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.

In his 2005 deposition, Cosby said he obtained several prescriptions for quaaludes in the 1970s and offered the now-banned sedatives to women he wanted to have sex with.

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