Cosby declines to take the stand as his defense rests its case

Listen 4:38
Actor and comedian Bill Cosby, (left), walks with his spokesman Andrew Wyatt, during his sexual assault retrial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, April 23, 2018. (Jessica Kourkounis/Pool Photo via AP)

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby, (left), walks with his spokesman Andrew Wyatt, during his sexual assault retrial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, April 23, 2018. (Jessica Kourkounis/Pool Photo via AP)

Bill Cosby’s attorneys rested their case just before 2 p.m. Monday, moving the comedian’s second trial on charges of aggravated indecent assault in two years toward its close.

Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill asked Cosby to affirm that he would not take the stand.

“That is correct, your honor,” replied Cosby.

Earlier in the day, Cosby’s attorneys put his crowded touring schedule on display for jurors, in an attempt to show their client could have been out of town when the sexual assault he’s accused of committing took place.

Aviation records expert Douglas Ross testified for the defense that Cosby’s private plane records show he took several trips in January 2004, the time frame of the alleged assault. No trips to Philadelphia were scheduled.

“You can’t tell us whether or not the defendant got on a different plane,” train or car to his Pennsylvania home, asked Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele on cross-examination.

“Correct,” said Ross.

Cosby faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault in connection with the encounter with 30-year-old Andrea Constand at his Cheltenham mansion in 2004. She has testified that he drugged and then molested her.

During the course of its case, the defense has mounted several arguments to undermine the charges against their client. The most forcefully made is that Constand cooked up her allegations in order to swindle Cosby out of a formidable sum — the $3.38 million she received in a 2006 civil settlement.

The comedian’s attorneys have also argued that the two were having a consensual affair; that the alleged assault took place outside the 12-year statute of limitations; and that the pills he gave Constand on the night in question could not have incapacitated her.

Roslyn Yarbrough, the assistant to Cosby’s agent at the William Morris Agency, testified that she made detailed schedules of all of his gigs and that he stayed at his Philadelphia home “very rarely.” Both Cosby and Constand say that sexual contact took place in Cheltenham in 2004.

Yarbrough walked jurors through documents for a half dozen trips Cosby took in January 2004, by looking at his booking itineraries, invoices and flight records. Cosby flew to Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Orlando, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; Scottsdale, Arizona; Detroit; and Toronto.

That year, Yarbrough testified, she remembered talking to Constand by phone.

“I spoke to her briefly, maybe twice,” she said.

Cosby’s defense planned to call four witnesses this week, irking Judge Steven T. O’Neill.

“Why couldn’t you have told me that this is what you’re going to do,” he asked defense attorney Becky James.

O’Neill ruled Monday that Cosby’s attorneys could not bring in a sworn statement by Sherri Williams, a friend of Constand’s they have been unable to subpoena, nor could they call a private investigator to go over phone records and other documents already entered in evidence.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.