The charges against Bill Cosby, and sentences they carry

The charges against Bill Cosby, and sentences they carry

The charges against Bill Cosby, and sentences they carry

The sequestered jury from Allegheny County is expected to begin deliberations Monday evening, after Judge Steven T. O'Neill instructs them on the law in the case.

Yesterday saw the jury begin deliberations in the trial of Bill Cosby, a trial many in the American media have called the biggest since the OJ Simpson trial.

District Attorney Kevin Steele's closing arguments were businesslike and direct. Steele's closing argument focused on Cosby's statements in an interview with police and sworn depositions he gave as part of Constand's civil lawsuit more than a decade ago. "Who says something like that when you're in that situation?"

The defense called a single witness, the detective who led the 2005 investigation into allegations that Cosby drugged and violated Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home. 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. Cosby did not admit to giving Quaaludes to anyone without their knowledge. "He gave her no choice in this matter". Minutes later, his testimony filed, the 79-year-old Cosby's lawyers drew their defence to a close. Among those listening was Cosby's 73-year-old wife of half a century and business manager, Camille, who came to the courtroom for the first time on Monday. She slipped into the courtroom while the judge was addressing the audience and the attorneys. Cosby says he only gave her Benadryl.

During closing, McMonagle repeated to the jurors that Cosby's life is in their hands.

The closing arguments took place after the defense rested its case after questioning just one witness. They hammered home the point that she doesn't know just when it happened, and they questioned why she had regular phone contact with Cosby later that spring.

Judge Steven O'Neill asked Cosby a series of questions created to make sure he was aware of his right to testify and wasn't pressured into deciding against it. 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. He argued that Cosby used his role as a mentor and respected public figure to gain Constand's trust and then drug her and take advantage of her.

"One of the greatest storytellers in the world and I'm failing", Cosby said when asked to repeat an answer in the deposition.

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

"This ain't right!" bellowed McMonagle.

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Constand initially settled the case with a civil suit in 2006, having waited a year to report the alleged assault to the police. The implication is that she was after money from Cosby, one of America's wealthier stars. McMonagle said that while the comedian had been unfaithful to his wife, he hadn't committed a crime.

Defense attorney Brian McMonagle told the jury that the two were lovers who had enjoyed secret "romantic interludes" and that the 2004 encounter was consensual. "He took that from Andrea Constand".

Steele recounted how both Constand and Cosby had referred to pills the entertainer had offered to Constand as her "friends".

As they watched, Steele repeatedly asserted that, in a sense, Cosby had already confessed.

The jury also heard quotes during the trial from Cosby's deposition about his use of Quaaludes in the 1970s.

In those depositions, Cosby admitted to stockpiling quaaludes for the express objective of giving them to young women he wanted to have sexual contact with.

"But under the defendant's own words, you must convict".

The defense insisted Constand was a willing partner and said she hid the fact that the two had had a romantic relationship when she went to police a year after the alleged assault. A prosecution expert testified that such assertions amounted to "rape myths". "We're talking about all the man's tomorrows", he said.

But in closing statements Monday, the prosecution portrayed the actor as a sexual predator who deliberately drugged 44-year-old Canadian Andrea Constand so she could not resist his assault at his Philadelphia home in January 2004.

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