June 28, 2017

Bill Cosby trial draws to a close without him testifying

13 June 2017, 07:16 | Tami Weber

Cosby's defense at sexual assault trial begins on Monday

Will Cosby testify at sex assault trial? Lawyers remain mum

Constand says she went to his home to seek career advice after coming to regard the pioneering black comedian, movie actor and television star as a mentor.

USA comedian Bill Cosby's defence lawyers have rested their case after presenting a single, brief witness in his sexual assault trial.

Bill Cosby's own words were thrown back in his face Monday as prosecutors told jurors the fallen funnyman was guilty of drugging and molesting a younger woman years ago.

Jurors were bused from Pittsburgh to the Montgomery County courthouse outside Philadelphia and sequestered in hotels during the trial. Jurors deliberated for four hours before stopping for the night.

Detective Richard Schaffer was one of 12 witnesses who gave evidence during the five-day prosecution case.

Last week the prosecution spent days laying out the case against Cosby, calling 12 witnesses to the stand.

"Put them down, they're your friends". When she tearfully took the stand to point the finger at Cosby, she recounted a tale eerily similar to that of Andrea Constand. "I said 'I trust you.' I took the pills and I swallowed the pills down". "In my head I was trying to get my hands to move or my legs to move, but I was frozen and those [mental] messages didn't get there and I was very limp, so I wasn't able to fight him", she said.

Cosby could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted of molesting Constand in 2004.

Defense attorney Brian McMonagle told the jury that Cosby and Constand were lovers who had enjoyed secret "romantic interludes" and that the 2004 encounter was consensual. They said Constand's initial statements to police were full of inconsistencies that undermine the truthfulness of her story. In criminal trials, the onus is on prosecutors to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and defendants are not required to take the stand.

Jury deliberations resume Tuesday in the sexual assault trial of comedian Bill Cosby, after the prosecution and defense presented their closing arguments on Monday.

They pointed to dozens of phone calls she made after the alleged incident and the casino visit.

"We're not here because of Andrea Constand", he said.

He added: "All the fancy lawyering you have can't get you around your own words".

Cosby says he gave Constand a cold and allergy medicine to help her relax.

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. 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. With Cosby and his wife - who made her first appearance at the courthouse Monday - watching, defense attorney he called only one witness: a police detective to confirm the existence of a police report.

Constand filed a civil lawsuit that was settled in 2006 after Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against Cosby.

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. But his spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, told reporters on Friday that "nothing is off the table".

Among those not called to testify on Cosby's behalf were any character witnesses or, most notably, Cosby himself, a strategy that would have opened the defense to negative character witnesses and, most damagingly, cross-examination of Cosby. Members of the audience, including some of Cosby's accusers who are not testifying, have not even been allowed to leave the courtroom in the midst of proceedings for bathroom breaks without being blocked from re-entering. "I thought the only thing they could do would be an expert". "Who says something like that when you're in that situation?"

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