Published: Sun, June 25, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Bill Cosby's defense gives closing argument

Bill Cosby's defense gives closing argument

A kindly mentor or a callous manipulator.

Cosby told a radio interviewer weeks before the trial that he did not plan to testify in his defense.

This comes Monday morning, as both the second week and the defense's turn of Cosby's sex assault trial start begin.

District attorney Kevin Steele re-opened the case in 2015 saying new evidence had come to light.

"Who says something like that?"

The three charges accuse Cosby of assaulting Constand without her consent, assaulting her when she was unconscious, and assaulting her using drugs to substantially impair her ability to consent.

About 50 women have made allegations against Cosby. The prosecutors in the Cosby trial attempted to put several of Cosby's dozens of accusers on the stand to help make their case against the comedian, but Judge O'Neill only allowed one of them to testify.

Constand withstood a relentless seven-hour cross-examination at the hands of McMonagle but never wavered from her story.

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. "She spent a lot more time trying to forget what happened than trying to remember that night". She slipped into the courtroom while the judge was addressing the audience and the attorneys.

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Cosby has previously arrived at the Montgomery County Courthouse with various celebrities from the world of entertainment. The allegation by Constand, a former athletic administrator at Cosby's alma mater, Temple University, is the only one not too old to be the subject of criminal prosecution.

The defence consisted of a single witness: Sergeant Richard Schaffer of the police department in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, who already testified for the prosecution and who investigated Constand's case in 2005.

During his summation, lawyer Brian McMonagle doubled down on ripping apart Andrea Constand's story, insisting her 2004 encounter with Cosby, 79, was consensual. "They'll take the edge off", Cosby told her, she testified.

Experts had said the legal risks would be considerable.

The judge at one point addressed Cosby to ask him a few standard questions.

"Andrea Constand's own words, just what she told you, should sustain a conviction in this case", Mr Steele said.

When asked if he understood what was happening, Cosby answered in a booming voice: "Yes!"

The panel was excused at 9:40 pm, after a 13-hour day that included a six-minute defense case and almost five hours of closing arguments from both sides.

"This ain't right!" bellowed McMonagle.

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Prosecutors tried to paint the calls as business-related, because Cosby was a Temple trustee and Constand was an employee. One, who would only give his first name as Garvey, said this was about race - a number of Cosby's accusers are black.

He was not charged with any crimes at the time, but he did settle a civil suit with her out of court in 2006.

Jurors in Bill Cosby's Pennsylvania sexual assault trial are ending deliberations for the night.

Cosby's defense team called just one witness, a police detective, and then rested its case Monday before launching into closing arguments.

Prosecutors will deliver their closing statements next, which will be followed by instructions to the jury. Constand took a seat in the front row on the opposite side of the courtroom.

The trial will move to closing arguments if no defence witnesses are called. The jury also heard Cosby's version in the form of his police statement and his lurid deposition in her 2005 lawsuit. Steele also reminded jurors that Cosby had admitted to giving quaaludes, a powerful now-illegal sedative, to women with whom he wanted to have sex.

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

Evidence of dozens of phone calls made by Constand to Cosby after the alleged assault were entered into the record, including one lasting nearly 50 minutes.

"What are we doing here?" he said repeatedly.

Instead of a lover, Steele asserted that Cosby is a criminal.

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