Prosecutors were expected on Friday to continue using comedian Bill Cosby’s own words against him at his sexual assault trial, as they appeared close to completing their case.
Jurors in Norristown, Pennsylvania, saw excerpts of a sworn deposition on Thursday in which Cosby acknowledged giving Andrea Constand, then an employee at his alma mater Temple University, Benadryl pills in 2004 before engaging in what he portrayed as consensual sexual activity.
Constand testified earlier this week that the pills, which prosecutors have suggested might not have been Benadryl, left her incapacitated at his Philadelphia-area home before Cosby sexually assaulted her. She is one of dozens of women to level similar allegations at the one-time star of the 1980s hit television series “The Cosby Show.”
The alleged incident is the only one recent enough to allow for criminal prosecution. Cosby, 79, has denied all the claims.
Prosecutors will continue on Friday showing jurors portions of the deposition, including Cosby’s admission that he obtained Quaaludes, a sedative, to give to young women.
The deposition came as part of Constand’s civil lawsuit, which was filed in 2005 soon after prosecutors declined to bring charges at the time.
A federal judge’s decision to unseal Cosby’s deposition in 2015 prompted prosecutors in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, to reopen the case and later bring charges just before the statute of limitations expired.
The major prosecution witnesses have already testified, including Constand and another accuser, Kelly Johnson, who described a similar assault in Los Angeles in 1996. Judge Steven O’Neill has told jurors he expects the trial to wrap up within days.
Defense lawyers have emphasized the shifting details and erroneous statements in Constand’s accounts to police investigators in 2005, when she first reported the incident. They have also pointed to dozens of calls Constand made to Cosby following the alleged assault, suggesting she was pursuing him romantically.
Constand testified she continued to maintain contact in her role as an administrator in Temple’s athletics department, given Cosby’s status as a university trustee.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
Former right-wing presidential candidate scamming Americans with toxic bleach cure
Former diplomat and Reagan adviser Alan Keyes is a well-known gadfly who has run multiple times for president and for Senate, most famously against future President Barack Obama in 2004.
But lately, according to The Daily Beast, he has been involved in a different pursuit: the promotion of a dangerous pseudoscience scam known as the "Miracle Mineral Solution," or MMS.
The substance, which is actually just the powerful bleach chlorine dioxide, is supposedly a cure for everything from viral infections to infertility, and there was even a cultlike church known as the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, that promoted it as a gift from God. MMS has particularly taken root in developing countries like Uganda, but it also has a following in the United States, and many autistic children have been forced to drink it. Versions of this scam have even been promoted on Amazon.
American exceptionalism is killing the planet
Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch, I’ve been arguing against America’s forever wars, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined. And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of America's wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?
Joni Ernst accused of involvement in ‘dark money’ re-election scheme: report
According to a report from the Associated Press, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) has been accused of illegally working with an outside group to help her re-election prospects in a tough 2020 fight with Donald Trump on the ballot.
According to AP: "An outside group founded by top political aides to Sen. Joni Ernst has worked closely with the Iowa Republican to raise money and boost her reelection prospects, a degree of overlap that potentially violates the law."
"Iowa Values, a political nonprofit that is supposed to be run independently, was co-founded in 2017 by Ernst’s longtime consultant, Jon Kohan. It shares a fundraiser, Claire Holloway Avella, with the Ernst campaign," the report continued. "And a condo owned by a former aide — who was recently hired to lead the group — was used as Iowa Values’ address at a time when he worked for her."