Bill Cosby′s defense gives closing argument | News | DW | 12.06.2017
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Bill Cosby's defense gives closing argument

The jury in the 13-year-old case against comedian Bill Cosby began their deliberations after the defense took just six minutes and called only one witness to make their case. The 79-year-old Cosby did not testify.

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Jurors in Cosby trial begin deliberations

The jury at Cosby's trial in Philadelphia began deliberating Monday over whether he drugged and molested a woman at his suburban estate in 2004. He is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each one punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

The sexual assault trial of disgraced comedian Bill Cosby heard the defense's closing argument on Monday, after the defense rested following only six minutes of testimony from a single witness. In his statement, Cosby's defense attorney Brian McMonagle said that chief accuser Andrea Constand was only after the actor's money, and that the two had been in a consensual relationship.

The media, including DW, do not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

During his 90-minute closing statement, McMonagle accused Constand of changing her story over the years, and said it was suspicious that she called a lawyer before she told her family.

He then turned on the reporters present in the courtroom, saying "we're here because of them," suggesting that the media frenzy around Cosby was to blame for the dozens of women who have accused the "Cosby Show" star of assaulting them.

According to observers, McMonagle's strategy seemed to be trying to plant significant doubt in the mind of at least one juror so that the trial results in a hung jury and a mistrial is declared.

The trial had been expected to last longer, but Cosby surprised the court on Monday by refusing to testify in his own defense. The proceedings were also significant as Cosby's wife of 53 years, Camille, was in attendance, mere feet away from his accuser. She left during the prosecution's closing statement.

One of 59 accusers

Andrea Constand is one of 59 women who have accused Cosby of rape, attempted assault, sexual harassment or sexual assault. The allegations span decades, but many follow a similar scenario involving the use of date-rape drugs or pills to lower their defenses.

Some of these women, including Constand, have received cash payouts from Cosby in civil trials, but for many of the allegations the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution had lapsed. That was not the case for Constand, however, who has accused Cosby of luring her to his house in 2004 when she was working at his alma mater, Temple University, giving her drugs and molesting her while she was unconscious. Cosby was a member of the board of trustees of the university at the time. 

Cosby countered that what he gave her were over-the-counter antihistamines to help her relax, and that their relationship was consensual - despite the fact that Constand has come out publicly as lesbian.

If found guilty, the 79-year-old comedian could face up to 10 years in prison.

es/jm (AFP, AP)

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