Jury begins deliberating sex charges against Bill Cosby

Jury begins deliberating sex charges against Bill Cosby

Jurors have begun deliberating in United States comedian and TV veteran Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial after a weeklong proceeding in Pennsylvania that saw prosecutors and defense lawyers paint starkly different portraits of the comedian.

The seven-men, five-woman panel began deliberations at around 5:30 pm local time (2130 GMT), each ordering dinner from a series of menus that included burgers and salads.

The jury at Cosby's trial began deliberating Monday over whether he drugged and molested a woman more than a decade ago in a case t.

Since beginning deliberations on Monday afternoon, jurors have asked to hear some of Cosby's prior statements, including his description of the pills he gave Constand prior to the alleged attack.

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. Cosby spoke loudly as he answered, responding "YES!" or "NO!"

Sworn in briefly outside the presence of the jury, Cosby told O'Neill that he did not intend to testify. Allred said McMonagle is trying to distract the jury with minor details.

Mr Cosby arrived at court on Monday with his wife, Camille, who made her first appearance at the high-profile trial in Norristown, a suburb of Philadelphia. She denied they had a romantic relationship and said she had rebuffed previous advances from him.

Cosby, best known for his role as the dad in the 1980s hit family TV comedy "The Cosby Show", in 2015 was charged with sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in his home in the Philadelphia suburbs, just days before the statute of limitations was to run out.

Just hours before the Bill Cosby defense team rested their case, prosecutors had already done the same. The former actor was joined last Monday by Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played Rudy Huxtable on "The Cosby Show". They wanted to revisit the portion of a 2005 civil deposition where the comedian, now 79, talked about giving her "three friends". He also quizzed Cosby on his decision not to take the stand in his defense. "This is about evaluating the facts", Steele said.

She became incapacitated and felt "frozen" and told him so, she testified. Cosby has said he is legally blind because of glaucoma. "What's she going to say tomorrow?" he said. That is evidenced, he said, by how Cosby left Constand disheveled on a couch after the incident. "I just wanted to go home".

As he described reaching into Constand's trousers, Cosby testified, "I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection". He also described three pillars of the case had been proven: 1) Cosby drugged Constand; 2) She was "legally" unconscious; and 3) She was unable to consent to sexual activity. They cast him as an unfaithful husband - but not a criminal.

Cosby leaned forward in his chair for most of the defense's closing, occasionally reacting with small nods.

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.

Phone records showed she made no such call in January, he said, and instead show she only called Cosby's phone numbers in NY.

"I was mistaken", she said.

If this was romance, Steele asked the juror, why did Cosby go back to his bedroom by himself? His lawyer has said they were lovers sharing a consensual sexual encounter.

He also said the pills he gave her were over-the-counter Benadryl, which he admitted can cause sleepiness.

" 'We're not flawless, are we?' he said, pausing and looking at Camille Cosby, 73". "He took that from Andrea Constand". It was then that a new prosecutor chose to charge him.

Cosby previously settled a civil case with Constand for an undisclosed sum of money.

Though dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, Constand's accusations are the only ones that have led to criminal charges.

On Monday, for the first time, Cosby, 79 and almost blind, was accompanied to court by his wife of more than 50 years, Camille.

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