NORRISTOWN, Pa. — The jury in the Bill Cosby sexual assault case drilled down Tuesday on what the TV star said happened inside his suburban Philadelphia home and how he characterized his relationship with the accuser as it weighs charges that could send him to prison for the rest of his life.
Jurors began their second day of deliberations by reviewing more than a dozen passages from a deposition Cosby gave last decade. 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.
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.”
Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting Constand, 44. His lawyer has said they were lovers sharing a consensual sexual encounter.
The 79-year-old entertainer did not take the stand at his trial, but prosecutors used his deposition testimony — given in 2005 and 2006 as part of Constand’s civil suit against him — as evidence.
As they pored over Cosby’s words, the jurors appeared to struggle with some language in one of the charges against him: “without her knowledge.” The jury is considering three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault; the third count covers Cosby’s alleged use of pills to impair Constand before groping her breast and genitals.
The jury asked about the phrasing Tuesday morning, but Judge Steven O’Neill said he couldn’t define it for them.
For the second time in their deliberations, the jurors also asked 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-tall college basketball staffer — said they made her dazed and groggy, and unable to say no or fight back when Cosby went inside her pants.
The defense 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 chosen in Pittsburgh.
Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison on each of the three counts, but they could be merged.
The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.