Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Prosecution rests their case in Bill Cosby sexual assault trial


Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the third day of Cosby's sexual assault trial.

Testifying would carry enormous risk, as prosecutors would be able to cross-examine Cosby about his deposition.

The jury was not immediately read one of the most explosive exchanges in the deposition where Cosby acknowledged using quaaludes, a now-banned sedative, in his pursuit of women for sex. The prosecution rested its case Friday. His defense has remained mum on what witnesses, if any, it may call Monday.

"What was happening at that time [in the 1970s] was that at that time Quaaludes happened to be the drugs kids, young people were using to party with, and there were times when I wanted to have them just in case", he said.

Cosby is on trial for allegedly drugging and molesting a woman at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. He contends the sexual encounter was consensual.

Sixty women have accused Cosby of drugging them, sexually assaulting them, or both. Prosecutors have suggested he drugged her with something stronger, perhaps quaaludes.

Prosecutors evidently saved the quaalude testimony for maximum effect.

People yelled, "We love you Bill Cosby, " and "Hey, hey, hey, " the catchphrase from Cosby's "Fat Albert" TV show.

Cosby gave the deposition as part of a lawsuit filed by Constand and later settled for an undisclosed sum.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele has cited a 2015 ruling by a federal judge in Philadelphia to unseal excerpts of that testimony as an impetus for his office's decision to reopen the Constand investigation after a decade.

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In the deposition, Cosby said he gave Constand three half-tablets of the cold and allergy medicine Benadryl before the "petting" began. In a potential shift in strategy, Cosby's team has now opened the door to putting the longtime comedian on the stand to defend himself - something they had not meant to do at the trial's start. "I'm apologizing because I am thinking, 'This a dirty old man with a young girl, '" he said. She turned him down.

Prosecutors also argued that the defense was prohibited from questioning Constand about her past relationship under Pennsylvania's Rape Shield Law, which protects sex-crime victims.

Valliere has a PhD in clinical psychology from Rutgers University and has treated thousands of sexual assault victims and offenders during 30-plus years in the field.

"If it's a well-known person, the victim takes on a lot of responsibility for that person's reputation, especially if that person is well-liked or beloved", Valliere testified.

Andrea Costand moved home to her parents after the night she says he assaulted her, and her mother spoke with Cosby by phone about what happened between him and her daughter.

O'Neill ruled the testimony permissible and rejected the request.

Some 60 women have come forward to say the man dubbed America's Dad sexually violated them, but the statute of limitations for prosecution had run out in almost every case. Those incidents occurred in jurisdictions where the statute of limitations on criminal proceedings has expired. But Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt hinted Friday that his boss might be changing his mind. Cosby and his lawyer wouldn't comment on that, and the defense has not disclosed its strategy or the witnesses it intends to call during its portion of the case.

Passages from the deposition regarding Cosby's quaaludes admission were not presented to jurors.

But for all those wondering where Cosby's wife of more than 50 years has been, Camille reportedly plans to come to court next week. "What are they going to do if I tell them about it. And.to be perfectly frank, I'm hoping and praying nobody is recording me". Up to this point, Cosby's team had been quite clear that he would not be taking the stand.

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