Bill Cosby's wife Camille arrives in court as defense case begins

Bill Cosby's wife Camille arrives in court as defense case begins”

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.

That means a conviction would put Cosby in prison at least until he is 84 years old, based on state sentencing guidelines.

The fast-moving case went to the jury of seven men and five women on day six of the trial after closing arguments gave differing portrayals of what happened between Cosby and Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia estate. Steele said, his voice full of spite, as he pleaded with the jury to convict Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting Constand in 2004 when she was 30.

Steele, continuing to address defense statements, said a "romantic interlude" did not exist between Constand and Cosby.

Cosby's spokesman, Wyatt, said Jackson's statement would "let the world know" that Constand had perjured herself.

"Drugging somebody and putting them in a position where you can do what you want with them is not romantic", he added.

Cosby says his attorneys won't call any character witnesses.

McMonagle, pounding the defense table, suggested to jurors that Cosby was the victim of a drumbeat of accusations by women who wanted to appear on television shows.

While the prosecution spent five days building their case, the defense called just one witness and rested their case in minutes Monday after the former megastar declined to testify on day six of the trial in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Dozens of women have made similar accusations against Cosby, 79, although only Constand has accused him of a crime that allegedly took place recently enough to allow for prosecution. They complained that prosecutors were improperly striking blacks from the jury chosen in Pittsburgh.

Both Cosby and his accuser, Andrea Constand, remained in opposite sides of the courthouse until the jurors were dismissed, and came into the courtroom to watch them depart.

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The call on March 16 was one of 73 between Constand and Cosby occurring after the alleged assault, McMonagle said, calls prosecutors have characterized as normal since Constand was a Temple University employee and Cosby was on the board of trustees. Prosecutors presented nearly no forensic evidence, and legal experts have said the trial fits the "he said-she said" arguments so common to sexual offense cases.

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

Ms Constand, 44, told the court last week that Cosby gave her three blue pills and then molested her against her will as she lay paralysed and half-conscious.

"She sat with her back to the kitchen wall", Cosby said.

Cosby couldn't risk taking the stand and being cross-examined about the 60 other accusers if he denied ever drugging or molesting anyone. 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.

In his closing argument on Monday, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said Cosby's words incriminated him, noting that the defendant apologized to Constand and her mother and offered to pay for Constand's schooling after her mother confronted him.

He noted Cosby's familiarity with the effects of Quaaludes - which he had previously said he had administered to women he wanted to have sex with, according to his 2005 civil deposition - as well as Benadryl, which he claimed he gave to Constand. 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. Cosby has said he is legally blind because of glaucoma.

McMonagle maintained that the incident was one of three consensual sexual encounters between Cosby and Constand. "We're not here because of Andrea Constand", he said. Cosby has said he is legally blind because of glaucoma.

They include right-wing commentators like Rush Limbaugh who say Cosby is being targeted by lying women because he told black people to pull up their trousers; people on Twitter still begging the world to leave Cosby alone; and this guy, who told Vice that what happened to Constand doesn't constitute rape.

For its case, the defense team briefly recalled a Cheltenham detective as its only witness.

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