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Bill Cosby sex assault case in hands of jury

Bill Cosby sex assault case in hands of jury

Jurors deliberated for four hours Monday night after hearing closing arguments on the sixth day of the trial.

They'll resume deliberations Tuesday morning. It was read to them by the judge.

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby (L) leaves with his spokesman Andrew Wyatt after a break in the deliberations in his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, US June 12, 2017.

That means a conviction would put Cosby in prison at least until he is 84 years old, based on state sentencing guidelines.

The fast-moving case went to the jury on Day 6 of the trial after closing arguments gave differing portrayals of what happened between Cosby and Constand. Steele asked, his voice full of spite, as he pleaded with the jury to convict Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting Constand in 2004 when she was 30.

Their central witness was Constand, the former Temple University employee who says Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in January 2004.

"Drugging somebody and putting them in a position where you can do what you want with them is not romantic". He said Cosby may be flawed, but he's not a criminal.

Cosby did not take the stand to testify during the case.

Cosby had said before the trial he would not testify.

The jury is considering three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault.

The case has sparked debate over celebrity, race, power and gender.

Cosby, who was joined in the courthouse today by his wife, Camille, sat facing forward during the prosecutor's roughly two-hour closing argument.

Jurors also once again heard a recorded phone call between Cosby and Constand's mother, Gianna Constand, during which Cosby can be heard asking if his alleged victim is still interested in pursuing a career in broadcasting before offering to pay for her to go to graduate school.

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

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"Just tell the truth - what are we doing here?" he continued, one of many exclamations he made in a fiery and at times histrionic closing that lasted almost two hours.

- Bill Cosby has shown up with his wife, Camille, for the first time. She sat in the front row during closing arguments by the defense.

After about two hours, the jury returned to the court room with a question for the judge, saying they wanted to hear part of Cosby's original 2005 deposition in which he called the pills he brought for Constand his "three friends".

Constand, 44, testified last week that Cosby gave her three blue pills and then penetrated her with his fingers against her will as she lay paralyzed and half-conscious.

Only one other accuser, Kelly Johnson, who formerly worked for Cosby's agent, was allowed to testify for the prosecution last week; she said Cosby drugged her and assaulted her in a hotel bungalow in Los Angeles in 1996. 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.

McMonagle made emotional appeals to the jury, weaving anecdotes about parenting and patriotism as he argued Cosby's prosecution was nonsense driven by lawyers and media attention. The defence says when the case began it was about money, but now it's a about a man's liberty. "We're talking about all the man's tomorrows", he said. "I said 'I trust you.' I took the pills and I swallowed the pills down".

"McMonagle focused on Constand's shifting story, pointing out that she changed her estimate of when the alleged assault occurred several times in speaking with police in 2005".

Steele also castigated defense attorneys for raising doubts about Constand's credibility because she waited a year to report the alleged assault and maintained contact with the comedian after the alleged assault.

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

Constand testified that the assault left her humiliated by someone she had thought of as a friend and mentor.

He noted Cosby's familiarity with the effects of Quaaludes - which he had previously said he had administered to women he wanted to have sex with, according to his 2005 civil deposition - as well as Benadryl, which he claimed he gave to Constand.

"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.

Prosecutors suggest Cosby gave her something stronger.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.


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