Culture

"Fancy lawyering" can't save Bill Cosby, prosecution argues

The woman had sued Cosby after prosecutors decided a decade ago not to bring charges. A kindly mentor or a callous manipulator.

The legendary comedian was accompanied by his wife Camille on Monday, June 12.

Andrea Constand watched from the front row of the packed courtroom gallery on Monday as Cosby's lawyers spent almost two hours seizing on inconsistencies in her story in a final push for acquittal.

Jurors were bused from Pittsburgh to the Montgomery County courthouse outside Philadelphia and sequestered in hotels during the trial. "It's criminal", District Attorney Kevin Steele said. They asked if could hear what Cosby said he told accuser Andrea Constand when he gave her pills before engaging in sexual contact.

"Who says something like that?" Their central witness was Constand, the former Temple University employee who says Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in January 2004.

McMonagle told the jury that Cosby's freedom is at stake now, not just his finances.

"You know why we're here", McMonagle said scornfully, nodding toward two Cosby accusers in the audience - Victoria Valentino and Linda Kirkpatrick - who did not testify in the case. Cosby did not admit to giving Quaaludes to anyone without their knowledge. Constand, under the influence of the drugs and who briefly lost consciousness, could not and did not give consent, he said.

Defense attorney Brian McMonagle in his closing statement said Cosby was guilty of adultery but not sexual assault.

The prosecution in the Bill Cosby trial has argued that because Ms. Constand had been drugged prior to the sexual contact that reportedly occurred between herself and Cosby, she was incapable if consenting. Among those listening was Camille Cosby, 73, his wife of 50 years and business manager. She slipped into the courtroom while the judge was addressing the audience and the attorneys.

"Ladies and gentlemen, he has told you what he has done", he said. Cosby also declined to tell her what pills he had given Andrea Constand, but he did say they were from a prescription bottle, she testified. Cosby, his lawyer said, never ran from talking to police, for better or worse. Instead, his team called one brief witness - Cheltenham police Sgt. Richard Schaffer, the lead investigator in the case who testified for the prosecution last week.

Constand, by contrast, testified for more than seven hours last week.

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Experts had said the legal risks would be considerable. Cosby did not take the stand.

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. "This is talking to a lover", McMonagle said of one phone call that lasted 49 minutes.

"This ain't right!" bellowed McMonagle. While Bill Cosby is facing no criminal charges in connection to his alleged decades-old sexual assault against Johnson, her testimony regarding being drugged and sexually assaulted by the star was intended by the prosecution to establish that Cosby had demonstrated a pattern of behavior similar to what Constand alleged in her sexual assault claim. McMonagle, looking to raise doubts about her motives, reminded jurors that she contacted a lawyer who specializes in sexual assault lawsuits around the time she reported the alleged assault to police.

"One of the greatest storytellers in the world and I'm failing", Cosby said when asked to repeat an answer in the deposition. Cosby also faces up to $25,000 in fines if convicted, and would have to register as a sex offender.

McMonagle, a prominent Philadelphia defense attorney, accused Constand of telling "a stone-cold lie".

"It's a relationship", he said, in a voice that sounded street-wise and tough.

Prosecutors suggest Cosby gave her something stronger. "I want you to think about the courage Andrea Constand has had doing what she had to do", Steele urged the jury. During Steele's final talk to the jury, her mother Gianna sat with her.

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 goal of giving them to young women he wanted to have sexual contact with.



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