(NORRISTOWN, Penn.) — Following six days of testimony, the jurors in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial began formal deliberations Monday in Norristown, PA, to determine the comedian’s fate. Tuesday begins the first full day of jury deliberations.
The defense rested their case Monday after calling but a single witness, a police officer, after which both sides delivered closing statements. The jury went home around 9:30 p.m. ET Monday without reaching a verdict. Earlier in the evening, they requested to see the entire context of Cosby’s testimony “where he calls the pills his friends.”
Cosby did not take the stand to testify during the case.
Much of the prosecution’s case rests on sworn testimony Cosby gave in 2005, in the civil case involving Andrea Constand, who has accused Cosby of drugging her at his suburban Philadelphia home and then sexually violating her. Cosby claims he gave Constand Benadryl, to “relax” her, and that the sex was consensual.
The jury also heard quotes during the trial from Cosby’s deposition about his use of Quaaludes in the 1970s. He admitted to giving the prescription sedative to multiple women with whom he wanted to have sex, and said he didn’t take the drug himself. Cosby did not admit to giving Quaaludes to anyone without their knowledge.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele opened his closing argument Monday afternoon with a quote from Cosby’s 2005 deposition, about drugs he gave to Constand.
“I went upstairs and into my pack, broke one in half and took another half and brought them down and said to her ‘Your friends, I have three friends for you to make you relax,'” Cosby said.
Steele described Cosby as a calculating sexual predator who not only drugged and assaulted Constand more than a decade ago, but also cruelly recast the attack as consensual and romantic.
“To allege that this is just some relations that is going to another level just doesn’t make sense,” Steele said. “If you have sexual relations with somebody when they’re out, when they’re asleep, when they’re unconscious, that’s a crime.”
Earlier in the day, Brian McMonagle, one of Cosby’s lawyers, highlighted Constand’s alleged inconsistencies and those of Kelly Johnson, another accuser who testified on Constand’s behalf.
“[Treat the verdict] as if somebody’s life depends on it, folks,” he told the jurors. “We’re talking about all the man’s tomorrows.”
Cosby’s wife, Camille, was present for Monday’s proceedings, the first time a Cosby family member has attended the trial.
Sixty women have accused Cosby of drugging them, sexually assaulting them, or both. Other than in the Constand case, Cosby has never been criminally charged in any other alleged incident, and has denied them all.
Cosby, 79, is charged with three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault, each of which carries a possible prison sentence of from five to 10 years. However, Pennsylvania law allows those sentences to be served concurrently. Cosby also faces up to $25,000 in fines if convicted, and would have to register as a sex offender.
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