Cosby defense gives closing argument in sex assault case

Tuesday, 13 Jun, 2017

Given that its case in defense of Bill Cosby was distilled down into one succinct, six-minute interview with a detective who was part of the initial 2005 investigation into sexual assault charges brought by Andrea Constand against the disgraced comedian, one might conclude that Cosby's team of attorneys know the evidence is stacked against them, and have made a decision to just end this as quietly as they can.

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby arrives with his wife Camille for the sixth day of his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S. June 12, 2017.

Cosby made his way to the courtroom Monday morning with his wife Camille by his side, marking her first appearance since the trial began. McMonagle only called one witness, Sgt. Richard Schaffer of the Cheltenham Township Police Department, a detective on the original case, to confirm statements he took by Constand in person and on the phone. A victim can "tell the truth and be wrong", he said, if they believe their version of events, even if that version does not accurately represent what happened. In contrast, the prosecution had called 12 witnesses over five days last week. At that point, she claimed, Cosby made sexual advances toward her.

Declining to take the stand in his own defence, the 79-year-old TV star left it to his attorney to argue that Cosby's 2004 sexual encounter with Andrea Constand was consensual.

The defense could call other witnesses to try to bolster their argument that Cosby had a consensual relationship with Constand, 35 years his junior. "What's she going to say tomorrow?" he said.

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.

Cosby's testimony in her civil case showed just how hard a witness he would have been to control.

Though dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, Constand's accusations are the only ones that have led to criminal charges.

McMonagle also argued that Constand was romantically involved with Cosby before deciding to manufacture the story of an assault to support a civil lawsuit. "'The mother instinct kicked into me, ' she said of the moment her daughter confided in her about Cosby..." During this time, she was still employed by the university and Cosby was still a trustee.

McMonagle attacked Constand's credibility, saying she repeatedly changed her story after waiting a year to contact police after the alleged incident. Cosby then placed her on the couch and sexually assaulted her without her consent, she said.

Bailey seemed unconvinced that all of the allegations against Cosby are true.

The trial would move to closing arguments on Monday if the defense decided not to put anyone on the stand.

McMonagle told the jury that Cosby's freedom is at stake now, not just his finances. Constand testified that when she came to, Cosby was sexually assaulting her and she was unable to stop him, feeling "frozen" and "paralyzed".

Steele reminded jurors of Constand's testimony from last week in which she said Cosby told her the pills he gave her were herbal, but soon found herself incapacitated. "Mrs. Cosby has been supporting Mr. Cosby for the entire time they've been together for 53 years", he said.