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After Three Days, Still No Verdict for Bill Cosby
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Bill Cosby trial

Summary: The jury has been deliberating for three days without a verdict for Bill Cosby’s indecent assault trial.

The third day of deliberations ended without a verdict concerning the indecent assault charges facing Bill Cosby. The 12-person jury has to decide if the allegations against the 79-year-old comedian of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand are true. He faces up to ten years in prison for each of the three charges against him.

  
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Prosecutors allege that the director of operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball team was drugged and then sexually assaulted by Cosby at his home thirteen years ago in Philadelphia. Cosby pleaded not guilty to the three charges of aggravated indecent assault filed against him. He is specifically charged with assaulting Constand without her consent, assaulting her when she was unconscious, and assaulting her by using drugs to impair her ability to consent.

The jury, comprised of five women and seven men, were collected from Allegheny County near Pittsburgh and sequestered in a hotel for the duration of the trial. Deliberations began Monday evening through Tuesday and Wednesday. They have been discussing the trial for 28 hours and will begin again tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.

During their deliberations, the jury has asked six questions, including to rehear testimonies and statements. The jury wanted to rehear the testimony of defense witness Detective Richard Schaffer regarding his talk with Cosby, the testimony from Constand about the alleged incident, the testimony from Cheltenham police detective regarding his interview with Cosby in 2005 and the testimony of a Canadian detective who interviewed Constand again. The jury also asked the judge to repeat part of Cosby’s statement and to define the phrase in one of the charges, “without her knowledge.”

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Prosecutors called 12 witnesses during one week, providing a lot of evidence against Cosby but they presented no forensic evidence. One of their witnesses was another Cosby accuser, Kelly Johnson. Her testimony was allowed in order for the prosecutors to establish a pattern of assault. The defense called only one witness for testimony, Detective Schaffer from the Cheltenham Township County police department. Cosby declined to testify in his own defense.

During Constand’s testimony, which lasted over two days, she described a night when she was at Cosby’s house discussing her career plans. She called him a mentor and father figure despite that she had to turn down “suggestive” passes from him. During that night at his home, she claims that he presented her with three blue herbal pills that would help her relax. She testified that she became “frozen” and told him that so he moved her to the couch. It was then that he sexually assaulted her without his consent.



Constand’s mother backed up her testimony, claiming that Cosby called them to apologize and offer to pay for her education. He would not tell them what the pills were but that they were from a prescription bottle.

Defense attorneys painted a different picture. They cast Cosby as an unfaithful husband caught in a consenting relationship. They pointed out that Constand’s statements to police included false dates. Her explanation for that was “I was really nervous and wasn’t able to recall every particular moment that I had seen Mr. Cosby in order of dates.” She also lied about being alone with him before the incident. She has been alone with him in a hotel room before the alleged assault. Defense attorneys also pointed out that Constand asked for free tickets for her and her family to attend his stand-up show in Toronto half a year after the assault.

Cosby’s version of events was read through statements by prosecutors and police detectives. Cosby admits to sexual contact with Constad and romantic encounters. He claims the pills were Benadryl, which can cause sleepiness but in a civil deposition in 2006, he admitted to obtaining Quaaludes, a sedative.

Constand sued Cosby civilly and settled in 2006 for an undisclosed amount. It wasn’t until 2014 that allegations of sexual assault by Cosby began surfacing. A judge unsealed the 2006 deposition, leading to prosecutors to charge him with assault.

Cosby is now legally blind and uses a cane.

Do you think Cosby will be found guilty? If so, do you think he will spend any time in jail? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

To learn more about the trial, read these articles:

Photo: usatoday.com



 

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