Will Cosby testify at sex assault trial? Lawyers remain mum


After four hours they were unable to reach a verdict, and will resume again today. It was read to them by the judge.

The fate of Bill Cosby June 12, 2017 lay in the hands of a U.S. jury who deliberated over dinner and into the night on whether or not the disgraced entertainer sexually assaulted a woman at his home more than 13 years ago.

Cosby, 79, could receive a decade or more in prison if convicted.

Prosecutor Kevin Steele and defence attorney Brian McMonagle each sent the jurors off to deliberations Steele, a career prosecutor whose face turned the shade of a sun-ripened tomato during his close, tried to get jurors to focus on Cosby's admission that he gave oils to his alleged victim, Andrea Constand, and the comedian's testimony that he had called "three friends to help you (Constand) relax".

Constand is one of dozens of women to have accused Cosby of sex abuse - often after plying them with drugs - in a series of incidents dating to the 1960s. McMonagle said that while the comedian had been unfaithful to his wife, he didn't commit a crime.

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

Steele said the once-beloved Jello pitchman and "America's Dad" even referred to himself as a "dirty old man".

The prosecution had rested its case on Friday after calling 12 witnesses.

The January 2005 call came one day after a much longer phone conversation in which Gianna Constand called Cosby to confront him about her daughter's allegations.

Legal experts said testifying would have been a risky move that could have opened the TV star to withering cross-examination about some of the 60 or so other women who have accused him of drugging or molesting them. He is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each of which carries a possible 10-year sentence.

The case has sparked debate over celebrity, race, power and gender. The jury includes two black members.

For the prosecution's closing statement, Steele argued that Cosby's own statements showed his guilt. They said that Constand's initial statements to police were full of inconsistencies that undermine the truthfulness of her story.

"This isn't talking to a trustee".

"This isn't talking to a trustee, this is talking to a lover", he said.

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On Monday, for the first time, Cosby, 79 and almost blind, was accompanied to court by his wife of more than 50 years, Camille. She was stoic during the defense argument but left when it was the prosecution's turn.

During an hour-and-45-minute closing argument, McMonagle pointed to several inconsistent statements made by Constand to authorities, including that she had never been alone with Cosby prior to the incident and that it occurred after a dinner party.McMonagle also referenced phone records that showed lengthy phone calls between Constand and Cosby after the alleged assault.

"She'd remember it for the next 365 days and all the days of her life if there were a sexual assault in this case", he said in his own summation, as Cosby's wife, Camille, sat in the courtroom for the first time since trial began.

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 not a civil case about money, money, money".

"A rested mind is a good mind for deliberations", he said in closing.

As expected, Cosby did not testify and when the judge asked him if that was his choice, he responded in a loud voice: "Correct!"

"It's amusing, she had selective amnesia for everything I asked her", he said, urging the jury to employ "common sense" in reaching its verdict. "This is about evaluating the facts", Steele said.

"There are some things in this case that should be fuzzy. Why?"

He acknowledged that Cosby gave Constand pills, but they were Benadryl and were meant to ease her tension.

Cosby leaned forward in his chair for most of the defense's closing, occasionally reacting with small nods. Steele also reminded jurors that Cosby had admitted to giving quaaludes, a powerful now-illegal sedative, to women with whom he wanted to have sex.

Prosecutors suggest Cosby gave her something stronger. She settled a 2005 civil lawsuit against Cosby for an undisclosed sum, though jurors did not hear about that case.

And Cosby did not testify.