Monday 20 January 2020

Cosby chooses not to take the stand in sex assault trial

Bill Cosby. Photo: AP
Bill Cosby. Photo: AP

Maryclaire Dale in Pennsylvania

Bill Cosby's lawyers put on a case consisting of just one witness and six minutes of testimony yesterday, wrapping up the defence side in the sexual assault trial without the comedian taking the stand.

The big question going into yesterday's proceedings was whether Mr Cosby would testify - a high-stakes gamble that could have allowed him to work his charm on the jury but could have also exposed him to blistering cross-examination about some of the scores of other women who say they were assaulted by the comic once known as America's Dad.

With Mr Cosby's wife of 53 years, Camille, looking on in the courtroom for the first time in the six-day-old trial, the TV star ended the suspense by telling a judge that he had decided not to take the stand after talking it over with his lawyers.

The lone defence witness was the detective who led the 2005 investigation into allegations that Mr Cosby drugged and violated Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

Defence lawyers have sought to discredit Ms Constand by suggesting the pair were in a romantic relationship and she had changed her story several times during a previous investigation.

They pointed to dozens of phone calls she made after the alleged incident.

The judge shot down a defence request to call a second witness, a woman who worked with Ms Constand at Mr Cosby's alma mater, Temple University.

Mr Cosby (79) has said the sexual encounter with Ms Constand was consensual.

Irish Independent

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