Cosby trial nearing end as prosecutors use his words against him
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)