[Updated 9:30 p.m.] The jury has wrapped up a second day of deliberations without reaching a verdict in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial. Jurors quit for the night around 9 p.m. Tuesday. They’ll resume talks Wednesday morning.
[Updated 9:30 p.m.]
The jury has wrapped up a second day of deliberations without reaching a verdict in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial.
Jurors quit for the night around 9 p.m. Tuesday. They’ll resume talks Wednesday morning.
The jury has deliberated a total of about 16 hours over two days.
[Updated 5:45 p.m.]
The jury in the Bill Cosby sexual assault case drilled down Tuesday on what the TV star and his accuser said happened inside his suburban Philadelphia home and how he characterized his relationship with the accuser.
The seven men and five women from Allegheny County have now been deliberating for more than 13 hours over two days whether Cosby is guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault — charges that could send the 79-year-old celebrity to prison for the rest of his life.
The panel began its second day of deliberations by reviewing more than a dozen passages from a deposition Cosby gave more than a decade ago. They heard excerpts covering a wide range of topics, from Cosby’s first meeting with Andrea Constand to the night in 2004 she says he drugged and violated her after he invited her to his Cheltenham Township estate.
As he described reaching into Constand’s pants Cosby testified, “I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped.”
Cosbyis charged with drugging and molesting Constand, 44. His lawyer has said they were lovers sharing a consensual sexual encounter.
Cosby testified in 2005 and 2006 as part of Constand’s civil suit against him. The comedian and actor did not take the stand at his trial, but prosecutors used his deposition testimony as evidence.
For the second time in their deliberations, the jurors asked Tuesday to revisit a portion of the deposition in which the comedian talked about giving Constand “three friends.”
“She sat with her back to the kitchen wall,” Cosby said. “And there was talk of tension, yes, about relaxation and Andrea trying to learn to relax the shoulders, the head, et cetera. And I went upstairs and I went into my pack and I broke one whole one and brought a half down and told her to take it.”
“Your friends,”Cosby said he told her. “I have three friends for you to make you relax.”
Cosby later told police the pills were Benadryl, an over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine. Constand — an athletic, 6-foot college basketball staffer at Temple University, where Cosby was then a Board of Trustees member — said they made her dazed and groggy, and unable to say no or fight back when Cosby went inside her pants.
The jury also asked what “without her knowledge” means in relation to one of the charges connected to Constand’s alleged lack of consent. Judge Steven O’Neill said there was nothing more to add to his earlier instructions.
About 3:45 p.m. the jurors asked for Constand’s original police report to Canadian authorities in 2005, and the document was read to them by a court reporter.
The report could be significant because it differs in some ways with the account she later gave to Montgomery County detectives. In her first statement, she said Cosby assaulted her after she and others had gone out to dinner with Cosby, and that she had never been alone with Cosby before that evening.
The defense has insisted Constand was a willing partner, and said she hid the fact they’d had a romantic relationship when she went to police a year after the alleged assault. Cosby, his lawyer said, never ran from talking to police, for better or worse.
“He never shuts up,” lawyer Brian McMonagle said of his client in closing arguments Monday.
Nonetheless, the comedian whose storytelling artistry fueled a $400 million fortune went quiet when he had the chance to take the stand, unwilling to risk cross-examination about his 60 other accusers if he denied ever drugging or molesting anyone.
Constand testified for more than seven hours last week, denying there was any romance between them and telling jurors she had rebuffed his advances before the assault.
Authorities declined to charge Cosby when she first came forward in 2005, but a new district attorney reopened the case in 2015 after Cosby’s deposition was unsealed at the request of The Associated Press.
The defense had tried repeatedly since Cosby’s Dec. 30, 2015, arrest to have the case shut down, saying the charges were filed too late and the accusers were after money. They also complained that prosecutors improperly struck blacks from the jury, which was chosen the Pittsburgh area.
‘Constand’s response was that it had not happened’A bit of drama swirled outside the courthouse Tuesday afternoon over a witness the defense had unsuccessfully sought to call Monday in an attempt to rebut Constand’s testimony.
Judge Steven O’Neill had denied the request to bring Temple academic adviser Marguerite Jackson to the witness stand, ruling that her testimony would be hearsay.
In the statement, signed by Jackson in November 2016, she wrote that she knew Constand from Temple because she advised student athletes. The two “worked closely” with Cosntand and the two became “friends” who room together on about half-dozen road trips with the Temple women’s basketball team.
Jackson’s letter, read by Wyatt, contends that the two were in Rhode Island watching television when they saw a news report about an unidentified “high-profile individual” accused of drugging and sexually assaulting women. Constand told her something similar had happened to her and Jackson urged her to report the incident to police.
“I then asked Andreas if what she was saying really happened,” the statement said. “Her response was that it had not happened but she could say it happened and file charges, file a civil suit, get the money, go to school and open a business.”
Added Wyatt: “I think this court has not given Mr. C a fair and impartial trial.”
About 2 p.m. Constand’s attorney Dolores Troiani, said Jackson’s “statement is not accurate, it is not correct, and I can only see one purpose for [Wyatt] coming here to do that, and that is to defame our client. And that is the goal of Mr. Cosby and his publicist.”
Joined by colleague Bebe Kivitz, Troiani also ripped Wyatt for “trying a case on the courthouse steps.”
WHYY reached Jackson by phone at her Temple office about 2:30 p.m. and she stood by the statement read by Wyatt.
“Just as he read it, that’s what I would have testified to,” she told WHYY.
Jackson said she was disappointed that the judge “didn’t want any information that would refute [Constand’s] story or discredit her in any way.”
Jackson said she spoke to prosecutors in 2016, “the first time they did a proper investigation.”
‘He’s on top of me, kissing me’Outside the courthouse, as members of the crowd awaited a verdict, yet another accuser described her unwelcome sexual encounter with Cosby.
Linda Kirkpatrick, 60, who lives in Southern California, said that occurred in 1981, when she was a 24-year-old student.
She was playing mixed doubles tennis at a private club when Cosby asked to join the match. Kirkpatrick’s team won, and the prize was tickets to the comedian’s show, including a backstage pass.
“I was handed a drink, a few sips, I thought this really tastes terrible, you would think he could afford a better champagne.” Kirkpatrick recalled. “My next conscious memory was that I was in a different spot, and he’s on top of me, kissing me.”
Before she passed out, she remembers looking at an oversized cappuccino maker, marveling that Cosby was kissing her while wearing a bracelet engraved with his wife’s name, and thinking how soft Cosby’s skin was.
“I woke up at home. I don’t know how I got home. I had wet the bed, completely wet the bed,” she said.
Kirkpatrick, who has participated in efforts to abolish California’s statute of limitations for rape, said she hopes the jury finds Cosby guilty.
But “win or lose we’ll still prevail. We’ll still keep making changes and reform,” she said.
She also said the prosecution of Cosby has illustrated how far women have to go for true equality.
“Stop dragging us by our hair into a cave,” she said. “We might be wearing better shoes, but we’re still being treated as chattel.”
Defense ‘tried to tap into rape myths’Caroline Heldman, professor at Occidental (Calif.) College and an activist with End Rape Statute of Limitations, said Cosby’s defense “essentially tried to tap into rape myths.’
While the prosecution present its evidence and testimony in a methodical manner, the defendant’s lawyers “talked a lot about doing drugs and previous sexual experiences. And there’s good evidence that shows that that works, right?”
Research shows that such tactics will “be effective with the jury,” she said.
Regardless of which way the jury goes, Heldman said “the survivors in this case have already won. This is a case about Andrea Constand. But it’s also a case that is about 60 Cosby survivors who have been public, hundreds perhaps who have not gone public” as well as other sexual assault victims across America.
“The symbolism of this case, because Cosby is such a huge celebrity who was a serial rapist who got away with it for literally decades, some sort of justice in this case would certainly bring a lot of closure and vindication for those directly involved. But at the end of the day, the fact that most Americans no longer believe him is vindication enough.”
Also Tuesday afternoon, a couple of protests took place.
A handful of demonstrators from the National Organization for Women marched and carried signs with slogans such as “Thank you, Andrea,” “Stop drug-rape NOW,” and “Stand with survivors.”
Later, activist Bird Milliken drove in circles around the courthouse in a U-Haul truck on which these words were written in large black letters: “No = No!” and “#NOMORE”.
Milliken, who has appeared several other days while the trial took place, shouted “Woooooo” out the window of the truck, which blared 1970s female empowerment anthem by Helen Reddy, “I Am Woman.”
Another man who has been at the courthouse every day of the trial is Allen Yates, 50, a retired prison guard from Norristown.
Yates said doesn’t think Cosby will get convicted, or if he does, that he’ll spend time behind bars. Still, he mused what prison life might be like for America’s Dad.
“He is a celebrity, so I think he’ll do fine if he does go,” Yates said. “I think he may get some type of favoritism, because he is Bill Cosby. I don’t think they’ll do him any kind of wrong. He’s going to have his head hung low for a minute, but once he gets himself set in place, things will turn for the better.”
Prison administrators typically separate high-profile inmates from the general population – not necessarily for their comfort, but for their safety. That would mean a solitary cell, at minimum, with guards keeping a closer eye on Cosby to protect him from other inmates, he added.
Cosby would “be in a segregated area,” Yates said, “because some people may try to harm you.”