Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Bill Cosby back in court for jury deliberations

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with his wife Camille Cosby at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown Pa. Monday Bill Cosby back in court for jury deliberations
Francis Olson | 14 June, 2017, 01:53

Prosecutors portrayed accuser Andrea Constand as a courageous victim seeking justice, while Cosby's lawyers claimed she was a former lover who fabricated her account of the alleged assault. Other people attacked Constand's appearance and blamed her for hurting Cosby's reputation. Constand told police she was semi-conscious as he touched her breast and genitals.

When Constand first came forward in 2005, the District Attorney's office declined to prosecute. In it, Cosby described his encounter with Constand and said it was consensual.

A judge blocked Jackson from taking the stand, ruling it would be hearsay.

"I then asked Andrea if what she was saying really happened", Jackson said. Prosecutors presented nearly no forensic evidence, and legal experts have said the trial fits the "he said-she said" arguments so common to sexual offense cases.

Outside the courthouse, Constand's lawyers blasted the Cosby team Tuesday for releasing a statement from a woman who had been blocked from testifying at the trial.

Cosby is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

Cosby has been on trial in suburban Philadelphia since June 5. He says it was consensual. The jurors will reconvene Tuesday morning to decide if Cosby is guilty of three counts of of aggravated indecent assault.

WYATT: Seventy-three calls - 53 calls made by Constand, 19 made by Cosby.

Cosby did not take the stand, and the defense rested after just one witness.

Stanley expects a verdict to come down today, and says that the longer it takes the more it looks like things will go in Cosby's favor.

Saudi Arabia Says Qatar Airspace Closure To Protect Citizens From Threats
Morocco's Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita was also in the Gulf on a mission by King Mohammed to try to mediate. However, one source told AFP on Monday that Qatar's World Cup preparations continue "as normal".

At the time a 30-year-old director of women's basketball at Temple University, where the actor sat on the board of trustees, she said the assault left her "humiliated" by someone she had thought of as a friend and mentor.

Ms Constand, the 44-year-old at the centre of the case, settled a civil lawsuit with the embattled star in 2006 and was given an undisclosed cash sum.

The jurors are from the Pittsburgh area and were brought to the Norristown courthouse at the order of Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O'Neill.

The jury deliberated for four hours over dinner and past nightfall Monday, before being sent back to their hotel after failing to reach a verdict.

The sole witness for the defense was the detective who led the 2005 investigation, Richard Schaffer, who previously took the stand during the prosecution's case.

In addition, Constand initially told police that she had not been alone with Cosby prior to the alleged assault and that they had little contact after.

The jury in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial will start its second day of deliberations by hearing more of Cosby's testimony in the accuser's related lawsuit. "There was talk of tension, yes, about relaxing, and Andrea trying to relax the shoulders, the head, etc.", Cosby stated in the part of the deposition read to the jury on Monday night. Renewed interest in the cases was in part sparked by a video of the comedian Hannibal Burress joking about Cosby that spread across social media.

He pointed out the many inconsistencies that Constand made to police, including that she had told authorities, in a sworn statement, that she and Cosby had never been alone prior to the alleged incident, a claim that the defense proved wasn't true.

This news organization does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

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.

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