Accused of drugging a woman and sexual assault, the actor's lawyers called just one witness to defend him
After just six minutes, US comedian Bill Cosby’s legal team in his high-profile sexual assault trial rested their case. Calling just a single witness to the stand, the jury is now deliberating on the actor’s guilt or innocence.
One of the detectives who led the 2005 investigation into the sitcom star testified about the claims made by Andrea Constand that Cosby drugged and molested her in his Philadelphia home in 2004. Minutes later, his testimony filed, the 79-year-old Cosby’s lawyers drew their defence to a close.
Detective Richard Schaffer told the jury that Constand had paid Cosby a visit at an out-of-state casino on the night of the alleged assault.
Schaffer also said that local police officers believe that Cosby suffers from vision impairment, adding credence to the comedian’s claims that he is blind.
Cosby’s lawyers have attempted to discredit Constand’s testimony by suggesting she has changed her story a number of times and by suggesting that she and Cosby had been carrying out a romantic affair.
Andrea Constand leaves the courtroom after closing arguments in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 12, 2017. Cosby is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Constand at his home outside Philadelphia in 2004. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)
Evidence of dozens of phone calls made by Constand to Cosby after the alleged assault were entered into the record, including one lasting almost 50 minutes.
“This isn’t talking to a trustee. This is talking to a lover,” Cosby’s lawyer Brian McMonagle said.
Cosby previously settled a civil case with Constand for an undisclosed sum of money.
The actor had previously revealed in a series of interviews that he would not answer questions in court, denying all allegations made against him by as many as 60 women.
In this case, Cosby denies that he drugged Constand and his lawyer is arguing that she consented to sleeping with him.
A verdict in the case is expected quickly, with deliberations beginning on Monday following the prosecution’s closing statements. Having failed to reach a decision, the men and women of the jury retired for the night and will reconvene this morning.
The six-minute defence came after a week-long prosecutorial case was laid out against Cosby; several witnesses were called to testify, including Kelly Johnson, who accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her in 1996 in a similar fashion to Constand’s allegations.
Johnson is one of more than 60 women to have accused Cosby, with the allegations of sexual assault dating back decades. Due to statute of limitations, Andrea Constand is the only accuser able to take a criminal case against the 79-year-old entertainer.
In his closing statement to the jury, District Attorney Kevin Steele said: “Drugging somebody and putting them in a position where you can do what you want with them is not romantic. It’s criminal.”
If found guilty, Cosby faces as much as 10 years in prison.