The jury in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial has been sent home after deliberating without reaching a verdict over whether the veteran entertainer drugged and molested a woman more than a decade ago.
Cosby could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted. According to testimony, Cosby referred to the pills in question as "friends", and encouraged Constand, an athlete who's normally adverse to taking medication, to try them. "If you have sexual relations with someone when they're asleep, unconscious, that's a crime", Steele said.
The defense could call other witnesses to try to bolster their argument that Cosby had a consensual relationship with Constand, 35 years his junior. Yet to Cosby's defense team, the prosecution represents something else - a he-said, she-said where she says she was violated, and he says the encounter was mutually gratifying and romantic.
Cosby lawyer Brian J. McMonagle described sexual assault allegations from dozens of other women and a worldwide media scandal as the real reasons that his client now sits in court facing charges that a decade ago a previous prosecutor had concluded wouldn't hold up. He is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each of which carries a possible 10-year sentence. They complained that prosecutors were improperly striking blacks from the jury chosen in Pittsburgh.
Roughly 60 women have come forward to accuse Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting and/or drugging them in the last several years. "This is talking to a lover", McMonagle said of one 49-minute call.
"Just tell the truth - what are we doing here?" he continued, one of many exclamations he made in a fiery and at times histrionic closing that lasted almost two hours.
Bill Cosby's words were used against him this afternoon at the Montgomery County Courthouse in suburban Philadelphia. He said the encounter occurred in 1990, while Johnson insists it was 1996, the year she left her job. Constand sat in the front row of the gallery next to her mother, Gianna Constand, showing little expression. His lawyers said they were in a romantic relationship and what happened was consensual.
As they pored over Cosby's words, the jurors appeared to struggle with some language in one of the charges against him: "without her knowledge".
In 2006, the comedian settled with Ms Constand after providing an undisclosed cash sum to her. His deposition was sealed for years until a judge released parts in 2015 at the request of The Associated Press, prompting a new set of prosecutors to take a fresh look at the case and charge him.
McMonagle told jurors that Cosby's freedom is at stake now, not just his finances. "This is not a civil case about money, money, money". "We're talking about all of a man's tomorrows".
Monday's closing arguments finished out Day 6 of Cosby's criminal trial.
He also focused on Cosby's admission that he told Constand the pills were her "friends" that would help her "relax" but did not inform her what they were.
Constand said that she was "mistaken" when she made those statements to police.
"There are some things in this case that should be fuzzy. Why? He gave her no choice in this matter". "She spent a lot more time trying to forget what happened than trying to remember that night".
In it, Cosby admitted getting a prescription to a sedative called Quaaludes back in the 1970s and giving the drug to women he wanted to sleep with. They said that Constand's initial statements to police were full of inconsistencies that undermine the truthfulness of her story. Legal experts and courtroom observers generally dismissed that suggestion as a bluff, perhaps created to throw prosecutors - who ended with a lot of momentum - off balance.
The defense rested their case Monday after calling but a single witness, a police officer, after which both sides delivered closing statements. Speaking of, he followed that up with the timeless classic "She knew what she was getting into", setting a romantic scene where Constand and Cosby drank cognac by the fire together like lovers-or like two executives talking business at a country club-a meeting Constand agreed to even after Cosby had tried to put his hands down her trousers.