Bill Cosby jury to hear more of his deposition testimony

by Dwayne Torres June 14, 2017, 3:57
Bill Cosby jury to hear more of his deposition testimony

A U.S. jury resumed deliberations Tuesday on whether disgraced comedy legend Bill Cosby sexually assaulted a woman at his Philadelphia home more than 13 years ago.

Cosby, 79, best known for his role as the dad in the 1980s hit TV family comedy "The Cosby Show", is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Constand at his home in the Philadelphia suburbs.

The 79-year-old pioneering black actor could be sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Before asking to go back to their hotel Monday night, jurors wanted to see a portion of Cosby's decade-old testimony from a civil suit filed against him by Constand.

The twelve jurors - seven men and five women from the Pittsburgh area - deliberated for 4 hours on Monday and did not come up with a verdict.

Constand, now 44, was the prosecution's star witness in the week-long trial in the Philadelphia suburb of Norristown, testifying that Cosby gave her pills that left her unable to respond when he sexually assaulted her. Cosby also faces up to $25,000 in fines if convicted, and would have to register as a sex offender.

That means a conviction on just one count could put Cosby in prison at least until he is 84 years old, based on state sentencing guidelines. "They'll take the edge off", Cosby told her, she testified.

Constand took the stand last week, keeping her composure under a fierce barrage of cross-examination from the defense, which sought to portray their relationship as consensual, and Cosby's accuser as a liar.

In the prosecution's closing argument, Steele said that Cosby's lurid statements from 2005 helped corroborate Constand's allegations.

Constand is one of dozens of women to have accused Cosby of sex abuse - often after plying them with drugs - in a series of incidents dating to the 1960s.

Prosecutors suggested Cosby's own admission about groping Constant after giving her pills he knew would make her fall asleep should be enough to declare him guilty. Tuesday begins the first full day of jury deliberations.

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Wyatt released the statement just moments after jurors asked the judge to define the phrase "without her knowledge" as it applies to one count of aggravated indecent assault while delivering an intoxicant.

In the deposition, Cosby said he gave her Benedryl, a non-prescription allergy medication as he and Constand talked in the kitchen of his home that night.

"He never shuts up", lawyer Brian McMonagle said of his client in closing arguments Monday morning, on Day 6 of the trial.

Andrea Constand claims the U.S. comedian drugged and molested her at his Philadelphia home in 2004.

Prosecutors say they made a decision to reopen the Constand investigation after reading the deposition, and during closing arguments, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele told the jurors: "All the fancy lawyering you have can't get you around your own words". She sat in the front row, across the aisle from Constand, who didn't react to McMonagle's two-hour closing but smiled at the end of it.

"Cosby testified over a decade ago as part of her lawsuit, eventually settling the case for an undisclosed sum".

McMonagle, in his closing argument, tried to sow doubt about Constand's story, saying it had evolved during her interviews with police. He denounced the "beat of the drum" accusations against Cosby in the media, which have snowballed since late 2014.

O'Neill said he could not provide any interpretation beyond his initial instructions on the charges.

This news organization does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

Mason testified that Constand said she'd waited about a year to come forward because she felt embarrassed and was daunted by Cosby's standing at his alma mater, Temple University, where she worked for the basketball program.


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