Cosby's fate rests with jury in Pennsylvania sex assault case


Bill Cosby's sexual-assault trial sped to a shockingly quick conclusion on Monday, as the defense called just one witness for a six-minute testimony, and the comedian declined to testify on his own behalf. Prosecutors at his trial have focused mostly on what happened one night in 2004 at his gated estate in suburban Philadelphia.

The judge in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial instructed jurors to break for the evening on Monday, after four hours of deliberations.

The case will turn largely on how credible the panel finds Ms Constand, who testified that in a visit to Mr Cosby's home near Philadelphia, he gave her pills that he said were herbal, but that left her immobile and drifting in and out of consciousness, and sexually assaulted her.

As he described reaching into Constand's trousers, Cosby testified, "I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection".

"Hopefully, you will have the last two words in this case, and I pray those words are not guilty", McMonagle said to the jury.

Actor Bill Cosby could charm jurors at his sexual assault trial if he testifies this week, but experts say the risk would be considerable. He says she doesn't say 'yes.' He says he put his finger.

The judge shot down a defense request to call a second witness, a woman who worked with Constand at Cosby's alma mater, Temple University.

Count 2 alleges she was unconscious or semi-conscious at the time and could not give consent.

They began deliberations on Monday and have been sequestered at a hotel for the trial's duration, a relatively rare occurrence in the United States criminal justice system.

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"All of the fancy lawyering ...can't get you around (Cosby's) own words", the prosecutor said.

The closing arguments took place after the defense rested its case after questioning just one witness. While Bill Cosby is facing no criminal charges in connection to his alleged decades-old sexual assault against Johnson, her testimony regarding being drugged and sexually assaulted by the star was intended by the prosecution to establish that Cosby had demonstrated a pattern of behavior similar to what Constand alleged in her sexual assault claim.

The defense closed by accusing Constand of lying about an affair with Cosby and concocting the allegations to take advantage of the wealthy, older star. Testifying under oath in 2005, Cosby said he obtained several prescriptions for quaaludes in the 1970s and offered the now-banned sedatives to women he wanted to have sex with.

He was not charged with any crimes at the time, but he did settle a civil suit with her out of court in 2006.

"I want you to think about the courage Andrea Constand has had doing what she had to do", he urged the jury. Steele argued that admission showed Cosby was knowingly trying to incapacitate Constand when he gave her 1-1/2 pills, which Cosby said were Benadryl. "And he danced and she deserved better", he said pointing to Camille, who had joined her husband in court for the first time this trial. He talks in the deposition of "the penile entrance" and "digital penetration", and he told Constand's mother, when she called to confront him, that her daughter had had an orgasm. For the first time during the trial, Cosby's wife, Camille, walked with him to the courthouse.

The 2014 case never went to trial after McMonagle succeeded in highlighting flaws in police evidence gathering, including a report that suggested the victim had been given a drugged glass of wine.

After the prosecution took five days to outline its side, the defense case consisted of just one witness - a detective - and six minutes of testimony Monday. During the civil case, however, Bill Cosby gave sworn depositions that were later unsealed as part of the criminal case against him.

Jurors began weighing Bill Cosby's fate Monday after his lawyer implored them to see Andrea Constand as a lying, money-seeking former paramour, while the chief prosecutor in the case portrayed her as a courageous victim seeking justice.