Bill Cosby’s lawyers rest case, but comedian does not testify

Updated April 24, 2018 - 3:16 pm

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Bill Cosby’s lawyers on Tuesday rested their case at his sexual assault retrial. The 80-year-old comedian did not take the stand in his own defense.

He didn’t testify at his first trial, either and that one ended in a hung jury last year.

Closing arguments are set for Wednesday.

Cosby’s lawyers urged a jury Tuesday to acquit the 80-year-old comedian of sexual assault charges they said were based on “flimsy, silly, ridiculous evidence,” arguing he was falsely accused by a “pathological liar” scheming for a big payday.

The first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era was nearly in the hands of a jury after the defense declared that Cosby himself was the victim of an elaborate frame-up.

Lawyers Tom Mesereau and Kathleen Bliss said in their closing argument that chief accuser Andrea Constand consented to a sexual encounter at Cosby’s home in suburban Philadelphia, then leveled false accusations against the “Cosby Show” star so she could sue him and extract a big settlement.

 

“You’re dealing with a pathological liar, members of the jury,” Cosby lawyer Tom Mesereau said. “You are.”

Prosecutors were to deliver their closing argument next. The jury was expected to get the case later in the day.

The former TV star was accompanied Tuesday for the first time in the trial by his wife of 54 years, who sat in the gallery as his lawyers pleaded with the jury to clear him. Camille Cosby, 74, had been absent from the courtroom as the prosecution built its case that Cosby maintained a sordid double life that involved preying on women sexually.

Before the jury came in, she went to the defense table and put her arm around her husband. They embraced, smiled and chatted, and he gave her a peck on the cheek.

Constand, 45, alleges Cosby knocked her out with three pills he called “your friends” and molested her in January 2004. Her account was bolstered by the testimony of five other women who took the stand and said Cosby had drugged and assaulted them, too — including one woman who asked him through her tears, “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?”

Cosby has said he gave Constand 1½ tablets of the over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine Benadryl to help her relax before what he called a consensual encounter. And the defense ripped into the other women, saying they were motivated by the prospect of money and fame to come forward in recent years with fabricated accounts.

Cosby is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each carrying up to 10 years in prison.

The jury at Cosby’s first trial weighed the evidence for more than 52 hours over six days last year without reaching a verdict.

This time, his defense team mounted a far more aggressive effort to stoke doubts about Constand’s credibility and raise questions about whether Cosby’s arrest was even legal.

Their star witness was Marguerite Jackson, a former Temple University colleague of Constand’s who testified that Constand spoke of framing a high-profile person for the purpose of filing a lawsuit. Constand received nearly $3.4 million from Cosby over a decade ago — a settlement that Mesereau argued was “one of the biggest highway robberies of all time.”

“He thought he was paying for peace. He didn’t get it,” the lawyer said.

In a two-hour, tag-team closing argument, Mesereau and Bliss highlighted more than a dozen inconsistencies in what Constand has said over the years. Mesereau, best known for winning an acquittal in Michael Jackson’s 2005 child-molestation case, showed jurors a list of what he said were Constand’s “biggest lies” and displayed excerpts from her police statements and testimony to help back up his claims.

He also painstakingly reviewed phone and travel records for Cosby and Constand, as well as a schedule for the Temple women’s basketball team where she worked, saying they are proof the alleged assault couldn’t have happened when she says it did. Prosecutors have noted that Cosby’s travel records have large gaps in time.

The date of Cosby’s encounter with Constand is important because of when he was charged. Prosecutors reopened the case in 2015, and he was charged late that year — just before the 12-year statute of limitations was set to expire.

Bliss argued that Cosby, once revered as America’s Dad, was an innocent man caught up in the “emotion and anger” of the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct. Cosby was arrested years before #MeToo became a cultural force and took down famous men like Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey and Sen. Al Franken.

Bliss also suggested that Constand and Cosby were having an affair, and that she was the aggressor, “cavorting around with a married man old enough to be her grandfather.”

“There’s no doubt that something was going on here,” Bliss said. “There’s no doubt there was love in the making.”

Wearing sunglasses in the courtroom, Cosby’s wife smirked and pursed her lips a few times but otherwise listened stoically.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission. Constand has done so.

News
Educators dressed in red have taken to the streets to demand more for their students.
Educators dressed in red have taken to the streets to demand more for their students. Educators from around the State are bringing the Red for Ed movement to the steps of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City, NV, and to the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Nature Conservancy Ranch
The Nature Conservancy just bought the 900-acre 7J Ranch at the headwaters of the Amargosa River, north of Beatty. The property could become a research station, though ranching will continue.
Swift water rescue at Durango Wash in Las Vegas
On Thursday, February 14, 2019, at approximately 8:42 a.m., the Clark County Fire Department responded to a report of a swift water incident where people were trapped in the Durango wash which is located near 8771 Halcon Ave. Personnel found one person who was trapped in the flood channel. The individual was transported to the hospital in stable condition. Video by Clark County Fire & Rescue.
Flooding at E Cheyenne in N. Las Vegas Blvd.
Quick Weather Around the Strip
Rain hits Las Vegas, but that doesn't stop people from heading out to the Strip. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries. The Cleveland Clinic will begin researching the brains of retired bull riders to understand the impact traumatic brain injuries have on cognition. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Matt Stutzman shoots arrows with his feet
Matt Stutzman who was born without arms shoots arrows with his feet and hits the bullseye with remarkable accuracy. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Secretary of Air Force Emphasizes the Importance of Nellis AFB
US Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson visited Nellis Air Force Base during Red Flag training and described how important the base is to the military.
Former Northwest Academy student speaks out
Tanner Reynolds, 13, with his mother Angela McDonald, speaks out on his experience as a former student of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff member Caleb Michael Hill. Hill, 29, was arrested Jan. 29 by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of child abuse.
Former Northwest Academy students speak out
Tristan Groom, 15, and his brother Jade Gaastra, 23, speak out on their experiences as former students of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff and excessive medication.
Disruption At Metro PD OIS Presser
A man claiming to be part of the press refused to leave a press conference at Metro police headquarters, Wednesday January 30, 2019. Officers were forced to physically remove the man. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience after the city began operating around the clock. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas parts ways with operator of homeless courtyard
Jocelyn Bluitt-Fisher discusses the transition between operators of the homeless courtyard in Las Vegas, Thursday Jan. 24, 2019.(Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police and Raiders partner with SafeNest
Las Vegas police and the Raiders partner with SafeNest on Project Safe 417 (the police code for domestic violence is 417). The program partners trained SafeNest volunteer advocates with Metropolitan Police Department officers dispatched to domestic violence calls, allowing advocates to provide immediate crisis advocacy to victims at the scene of those calls. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
North Las Vegas police chief discusses officer-involved shooting
North Las Vegas police chief Pamela Ojeda held a press conference Thursday, Jan. 24, regarding an officer-involved shooting that took place on Jan. 21. The incident resulted in the killing of suspect Horacio Ruiz-Rodriguez. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Volunteers gather for annual Clark County homeless count
Volunteers gather for the annual Southern Nevada Homeless Census, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who can understand hospital price lists?
Lists of costs for procedures, drugs and devices are now posted the websites of hospitals to comply with a new federal rule designed to provide additional consumer transparency. Good luck figuring out what they mean.
People in Mesquite deal with a massive power outage
People in Mesquite respond to a major power outage in the area on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Group helping stranded motorists during power outage
A group of Good Samaritans are offering free gas to people in need at the Glendale AM/PM, during a massive power outage near Mesquite on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen falls at Las Vegas parade
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada fell and injured her wrist at the Martin Luther King Day parade in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Local astronomers host super blood wolf moon viewing
The Las Vegas Astronomical Society paired with the College of Southern Nevada to host a lunar eclipse viewing Sunday night. Known as the super blood wolf moon, the astronomical event won't occur for another 18 years. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The third annual Women’s March in Las Vegas
The third annual Women’s March in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @btesfaye
First former felon to work for Nevada Department of Corrections
After his father died, Michael Russell struggled for years with drug addiction. When he finally decided to change for good, he got sober and worked for years to help others. Now he is the first former felon to be hired by the Nevada Department of Corrections. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing