Updates: Prosecution Vows To Retry Cosby After Jury Deadlock Prompts Mistrial

A jury couldn’t decide if Bill Cosby is guilty of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. A mistrial has been declared.

Here's Where We're At With The Trial

  • A jury couldn't decide if Bill Cosby is guilty of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. A mistrial has been declared.
  • The prosecution has vowed to retry the case.
  • Cosby faced three counts of sexual assault for allegedly raping Constand.
  • The prosecution contended the comedian had a pattern of using powerful sedatives to incapacitate women before sexually assaulting them.
  • The defense argued that Constand and another alleged victim called as a witness are opportunistic and can't be trusted.
  • Cosby declined to take the stand and his defense lawyers called only one witness.
  • Cosby, 79, was facing 30 years in jail if convicted of all the sexual assault charges.
  • Everything you need to know about how the case evolved is here.


Posted at

Judge grants mistrial after jury deadlocks, prosecution vows to retry case

Bill Cosby's rape case ended in a mistrial on Saturday after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision on charges that he drugged and raped a woman at his home in 2004.

The sequestered jury of five women and seven men spent more than 50 hours over six days reviewing testimony as they tried to reach a verdict, often working late into the night. But inside a packed courtroom outside Philadelphia on Saturday, jurors said they remained deadlocked.

All jurors agreed there was "hopeless deadlock that cannot be resolved on further deliberations."

Cosby attorney Brian McMonagle immediately moved for a mistrial, which was granted by the judge.

"A mistrial is just the justice system at work," Judge Steven T. O'Neill told the jurors. "Don't feel that you let the justice system or anyone down."

The 79-year-old comedian clutched his cane and sat with his eyes closed.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele immediately announced the prosecution would retry the case.

Read more about the aftermath of the case here.

—Claudia Koerner

Posted at

Cosby jury makes yet another request before entering Day 6 of deliberations

The jury in the Bill Cosby rape trial ended their fifth day of deliberation on Friday without reaching a decision, meaning the wait for a possible verdict on charges that the comedian drugged and raped a woman in 2004 would extend into the weekend.

The judge sent the sequestered jurors home for the night after a day in which they logged three requests to review prior testimony. In one case, the asked to review the same testimony from the mother of Cosby's accuser, Andrea Constand, twice within an hour, prompting the judge to send them back with orders to use their "collective recollection."

Their third request — and 13th overall — was to review testimony by Constand's brother and Canadian police officer, Stewart Parson, who urged her to immediately hire a lawyer to represent her best interests.

"It wasn't a normal case," said Parson, who also drove Constand down from Canada to Pennsylvania police to give her statement in person.

During the drive, he didn't discuss the case with her, but encouraged to tell police the truth, Parson testified.

The prolonged deliberations had clearly started to make things tense in the courtroom Friday, with Cosby's defense attorney, Brian McMonagle, asking the judge to declare a mistrial multiple times. Judge Steven O'Neill, however, rejected him each time, saying he would not impose a time limit after earlier ordering the deadlocked jury to resume deliberations.

The jury is schedule to resume deliberations at 9 a.m. Saturday.

—Claudia Rosebaum

Posted at

Juror told sent back to deliberate after asking 12th question in five days

Jurors in the Bill Cosby rape trial on Friday were sent back to deliberate instead of being allowed to review testimony by his accuser's mother for a second time within the span of an hour.

"That was just read to you...You need to rely on your collective recollection," Judge Steven O'Neill said after they made the request.

It was the jury's 12th question after more than 47 hours of deliberation over five days. Earlier in the day, Cosby's defense attorney made his frustration with the length of deliberations known in court before requesting a mistrial, which the judge denied.

The testimony the jury appeared focused on Friday came from the mother of Cosby's accuser, Andrea Constand, in which she recalled a 2005 phone conversation she had with the comedian about the sexual encounter.

Constand alleged she was drugged and raped, but Cosby has insisted the encounter was consensual.

But according to Constand's mother, Gianna, Cosby referred to himself as a "sick man" and said it was "just digital penetration." He also couldn't read the name off the prescription bottle from which he got the pills, she added.

Cosby said in a deposition the pills were Benadryl to help Andrea Constand sleep, but her mother testified he never mentioned that.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

Jurors request more transcripts as drawn out deliberations frustrate Cosby's defense team

Tempers started to flare Friday as jurors in the Bill Cosby rape trial made yet another request to re-hear testimony, frustrating defense attorney Brian McMonagle, who again asked the judge to declare a mistrial.

"We are at 40-plus hours longer than the entire trial," McMonagle said before implying there might be attempts at coercion going on in the deliberating room. "We are well past the point that free will can said to be involved in this case."

However, Judge Steven O'Neill rejected his request, noting that he had heard "absolutely nothing" from the jury regarding any issues with coercion. He also pointed out there was no precedent for imposing a time limit on deliberations.

"My concern is that they might think they might need to deliberate until the cows come home," McMonagle said.

The jury has deliberated for more than 40 hours over five days as it reviews transcripts of testimony from the trial as they attempt to reach a verdict on charges that Cosby drugged and then raped Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

The latest request was for the testimony of Constand's mother, who recalled how Cosby called her to apologize for what happened.

Jurors also requested Constand phone records. Cosby's defense attorneys have argued that they show repeated calls between the two after the alleged assault, proving that they were involved in a romantic relationship and that the encounter was consensual.

Jurors were scheduled to resume deliberations after lunch.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

Cosby jury begins day 5 of deliberations with more questions

Judge Steven O'Neill started Friday's proceeding by putting Bill Cosby under oath and telling him first that he was aware of the statements the star's publicist was making outside the courtroom, calling for a mistrial. The judge wanted to make sure that Cosby understood what a mistrial would mean.

O'Neill informed Cosby that if he requests a mistrial and the district attorney opts to retry the case, Cosby could not raise the principle of double jeopardy to object. When asked if he understood, Cosby said, "Yes."

"In this case, the request for mistrial is based on this jury deliberating for some time," said O'Neill. "As long as this jury wants to deliberate, I will let them continue."

"OK, we can move on," he then said.

On Day Five of their deliberations, jurors then requested if they could re-hear the sealed testimony of Cosby. In that deposition, Cosby talked about how he obtained seven prescriptions for quaaludes, but never intended to take the drugs himself.

In the deposition, Cosby said that young people were using the drugs to party and he wanted to take them just in case. He also admitted that he got the drugs with the intent of using them on young women he was going to have sex with. Cosby also said he had given quaaludes to other women, but denied doing so without their knowledge.

Cosby testified that he didn't take them himself because they would make him sleepy.

After reading the testimony back to jurors, O'Neill again instructed them, at their request, on the definition of reasonable doubt before they returned to their deliberation room.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

Cosby jury headed to fifth day of deliberations after remaining deadlocked

The jury in the Bill Cosby rape trial adjourned Thursday night without reaching a decision for the fourth day in a row.

The jury of seven men and five women had been ordered by the judge to continue deliberating after telling the court earlier in the day that they were deadlocked on charges that Cosby drugged and raped Andrea Constand in 2004.

But as the clock ticked past 9 p.m. local time, and after more than 40 hours of deliberation, the judge ordered the jurors to call it a night.

"You must be very tired," the judge said. "I don't want you working past 12 hours."

Cosby's spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, told reporters camped out at the Pennsylvania courthouse that the jury was clearly "conflicted about the inconsistencies" with what Constand initially told police and her testimony years later, such as the circumstances under which she went to Cosby's home.

Cosby has insisted the two had a romantic and consensual relationship.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

Cosby's spokesperson says they have a fair and impartial jury

Bill Cosby's spokesperson Andrew Wyatt spoke to BuzzFeed News in the courtroom hall following the jury's announcement that it is deadlocked.

"Today the jurors showed us they are being judicious with the facts of this case and they are conflicted," Wyatt said.

He said he believes that the jury is conflicted in part due to inconsistencies in Andrea Constand's testimony to the Durham Police.

"I think Mr. Cosby should never have been here in the first place. This case has been unprecedented and now we are here. All we have ever asked for is a fair and impartial trial, and a fair and impartial jury of his peers, and I think we got that. We got a fair and impartial jury but we didn't really get a fair and impartial trial," he added.

He went on to talk about Cosby's demeanor and need to get the truth out.

"[Cosby] is in good spirits knowing that in this United States of America that he is finally getting the truth out, his truth," he said.

Also, "Mrs. Cosby is elated that the jury is really taking their time to piece this together."

The jury was sent back to continue deliberations.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

Jury tells judge it is deadlocked on fourth day of deliberations

The jury in the Bill Cosby trial told the judge on Thursday that it was deadlocked.

"We cannot come to a unanimous consensus on any of the counts," the jury said.

Cosby grinned when he heard the judge make the announcement. He leaned in to talk to his attorneys, and left the court in good spirits.

Several of Cosby's alleged victims huddled together on a bench outside of the courtroom. One of the women was crying.

Judge O'Neill denied defense's motion for a mistrial and then instructed the jury on how to proceed.

"If at the time you have reached a unanimous agreement you must report that to me," he said.

After reading to them the charging law, he instructed the jurors to return to their room and continue deliberations.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

Jurors adjourn without reaching verdict, setting stage for fourth day of deliberations

Bill Cosby leaving court after a 3rd day of jury deliberations with no verdict #CosbyTrial

After spending hours re-hearing the testimony of rape accuser Andrea Constand and Cheltenham police Sgt. Richard Schaffer, who took her initial assault report, the jury called it a night for Wednesday.

Deliberations are scheduled to resume for a fourth day on Thursday.

—Claudia Rosebaum

Posted at

Day three of deliberations: Jury asks to rehear Cosby accuser's testimony

Attorneys were notified at 1:45 p.m. that the jury had asked the court if it could again see and hear the trial testimony of Andrea Constand. After receiving the question, the district attorney and Bill Cosby's attorneys met in chambers with Judge Steven O'Neill for over an hour, trying to figure out the logistics. Ultimately, O'Neill decided the court clerk would read back the 300 pages of testimony.

In the testimony, Constand said Cosby gave her three blue pills, told her they were herbal, and insisted she take a sip of wine despite the fact she said she didn't want to. Constand described how her legs turned rubbery as Cosby led her to the couch. She said she was later jolted awake when she felt Cosby's hands moving in and out of her vagina, and her hand on his penis.

Constand said she wanted it to stop but was frozen and "couldn't fight," adding that when she woke up, her clothes were disheveled, and her bra had been pulled up to her neck.

The jurors appeared to be listening intently during the 15 minutes the testimony was read back to them.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

Second day of jury deliberations in Cosby sexual assault trial ends without a verdict

A jury tasked with deciding if Bill Cosby raped a woman in 2004 spent all day Tuesday deliberating, but was unable to come to a verdict and will begin anew on Wednesday.

Jurors spent 15 hours on the case on Tuesday before the judge sent them home for the night. Deliberations began on Monday.

Cosby is charged with three counts of sexual assault for allegedly raping Andrea Constand.

The jury will resume its deliberations on Wednesday at 9 am.

—Jim Dalrymple II

Posted at

Jury asks court to read back testimony from officer who responded to initial assault report

After roughly 11 hours of deliberations, the jury in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial informed the judge that it had a fourth question. Jurors were brought into the courtroom at 4:28 p.m. and asked the court to read back the testimony of Durham, Ontario, police officer Det. David Mason, who testified earlier in the trial.

Mason was the officer who responded to the call by the Constands, and took the initial report from Andrea about the alleged sexual assault.

He said Constand told him the assault occurred in mid-January, when she was out at dinner with some people and then returned to Cosby's home. (Both Cosby and Constand provided testimony at trial that the sexual encounter occurred when Cosby summoned Constand directly to his home).

Mason also said Constand was not sure what foreign object was inside her — whether it was a finger or a penis — but told him she did not believe there was sexual intercourse. Mason testified that Constand said she had waited to report the incident partly out of embarrassment.

After that reading, the jury returned to its chambers to continue deliberations.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

National Organization for Women members are holding signs outside of the courthouse as the jury deliberates

Members of NOW stand with Cosby alleged victim Victoria Valentino showing their support 4 Constand

Members of the National Organization for Women stood outside the courthouse holding up signs in support of Andrea Constand, waiting in the hot sun for the verdict in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial. Among them was Jane Manning, NOW's director of advocacy.

"We are so grateful for Andrea Constand for testifying and for bringing this crime of drug-facilitated sexual assault out of the shadows," Manning told BuzzFeed News. "It's a crime that is more prevalent then people realize and too often the perpetrators go unpunished."

Another member of NOW, Claire McCue from New York City, told BuzzFeed News "I came to stand with Andrea and to show there is a lot of support for her out there and she is an incredible brave woman."

Victoria Valentino, one of "Cosby's survivors" who flew in from California for the hearing and has been in court for the entire trial, was comforted by the show of support from NOW members.

"I'm just so touched to come back from lunch and to see them sitting there with their signs," said Valentino. "They drove all the way from Jersey."

She added "it moves me deeply. I think there is hope for women in our society. Women are finding their voices and shedding light on rape culture in our society."

Valentino said she is hoping for "justice for Andrea" and for all rape victims and rape survivors.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

Jury returns to court to asks judge a question

The jury in the Billy Cosby rape trial returned briefly to the courtroom on Tuesday morning to ask the judge a question regarding one of the charges the comedian is facing.

At 11:36 a.m., the jury asked Judge Steven O'Neill what "without her knowledge" means in count three, the charge that deals with the administering of intoxicants.

The judge said he couldn't elaborate beyond what jurors already had before them.

The jury then returned to the deliberation room.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

Jury asks judge to re-read Cosby's 2005 deposition on second day of deliberations

On the second day of deliberations, Judge Steven O'Neill spent 43 minutes reading back to the jury portions of Bill Cosby's 2005 deposition, as jurors had requested. In the deposition, Cosby described his romantic interest in Andrea Constand the first time he saw her, and how he gave her his home number and immediately came up with a plan to develop a friendship.

In the deposition, Cosby described his second "sexual" encounter with Constand in which he said he put his hands inside her pants and brought her to orgasm. Cosby said his penis was out and she rubbed it for six minutes — claims Constand denied on the stand.

Cosby also talked in the deposition about the night he gave Constand Benadryl, saying she came to his house at his request. He said she came over and spoke to him about Temple University. He went upstairs to get the pills and broke two in half, giving her three half pills. He said he didn't tell her what the pills were only because he didn't think about it.

Cosby said in the deposition that after they sat talking for 15 to 20 minutes they moved to the living room, where things got intimate. He said he went inside her pants, she stroked him, he brought her to orgasm, and neither of them spoke. He said in the deposition that he couldn't remember the exact date but that the encounter happened in 2004, and that it was cold outside.

After the reading, the jury returned to its chamber to resume deliberations.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

Cosby jury ends first day of deliberations without reaching verdict

After deliberating for about four hours on Monday, the jury in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial ended the day without reaching a verdict.

During deliberations, jurors asked about testimony Cosby had previously given in a civil case around pills he offered his alleged victim Andrea Constand. The judge read it back to the jury, which resumed deliberations until ending for the night around 9:40 p.m.

Jury asked at 7:30 p.m. “Can we see in Cosby’s testimony where he called the pills his “three little friends?” Judge read back Cosby's depo

The jury will return at 9 a.m. on Tuesday to continue its deliberations.

—Jon Passantino

Posted at

Cosby's fate now in hands of the jury

The jury in Bill Cosby's trial has begun deliberations over whether he sexually assaulted a woman in 2004. Cosby faces three counts of sexual assault for allegedly drugging and then raping Andrea Constand at his suburban home.

The case went to the jury at 5:20 p.m. ET.

—Jon Passantino

Posted at

"It is about as straightforward as you are ever going to see," district attorney tells jury in closing statements

"Your friends, I have three friends for you to make you relax," said District Attorney Kevin Steele as he began his closing statements on Day 6 of Bill Cosby's criminal trial. "Why on this night does he say this to Andrea Constand?"

Cosby had a romantic interest in Constand from the first moment he saw her, Steele told the jury, but his previous advances had been stopped. On this night, Constand came to Cosby's house for career advice. Instead, he gave her pills, Steele said.

"We want you to look very closely at his words and when you do you will know there is no other decision to make than he is guilty of aggravated indecent assault," said Steele. "He said he gave her drugs. He said he put his fingers in her. He knows the effect of these drugs."

Cosby knew the pills would "put her out," Steele said.

"If you have sex with someone who is unconscious, that is a crime because that person is not consenting to what that (other) person is doing," Steele said. "He took that from Andrea Constand. She had no choice in the matter because of what he wanted."

He reminded the jury that Constand, who was 31 at the time, told the jury on the stand how she was awoken by the groping and the hand inside her. Steele said the jury could convict Cosby based on what Constand had told them alone, but that there is also corroborating evidence.

Steele said Cosby confessed to Constand's mother that he was "a sick man," and apologized to her, saying it was only digital penetration. Steele put up Cosby's former deposition on the screen to show jurors again that Cosby responded "yes" when asked whether it was on his mind when he procured quaaludes that he wanted to use them on young women he wanted to have sex with.

"Seven prescriptions! Never took them himself!" Steele shouted, adding that these were Cosby's own words. Steele said that Benadryl and quaaludes both contain the same medication.

"That is aggravated indecent sexual assault," said Steele. "It's straightforward and it is about as straightforward as you are ever going to see in a sex crimes case."

Steele then showed Cosby's testimony on the projector screen, where Cosby said himself that he had offered Constand "three little friends."

"Who says that to someone?" Steele asked the jury. "I tell you who — a man who was stopped before … by an athlete, someone who is able to resist."

Addressing in part the defense's argument that there were inconsistencies in her testimony, Steele said that over the next year Constand spent more time trying to forget what happened than remember it.

Steele also questioned the claim of Cosby's defense that Cosby had been in a romantic relationship with Constand.

"You do what do to her and then you leave her there, no blanket, nothing, her clothes disheveled." Steele said this was particularly unusual because Constand and Cosby were alone in his five-bedroom home. "To allege that this is a relationship that is going to a different level doesn't make sense."

Steele pointed out how strikingly similar the alleged assault of Kelly Johnson, another alleged victim who took the stand during the trial, had been to Constand's. He said both women met Cosby through their employment, that both had a substantial age difference with Cosby, and that both had had frequent phone contact with Cosby. In both instances, Cosby acted as a mentor, told both of them he wanted them to relax, gave them both pills, and then assaulted them, said Steele.

Steele then replayed the recorded call between Constand's mom Gianna and Cosby, during which Cosby offered to pay for Constand's graduate school. Steele said that despite the fact Gianna still pressed Cosby to tell her what drugs he had given her daughter, he deflected the question saying "no, no, we can talk about what you asked for later."

"It doesn't sound like a couple of Benadryl out of a package," said Steele.

Steele urged jurors to honor their oaths and to not be swayed by the defense plea to save all Cosby's "tomorrows." He said that what happens to Cosby after the verdict should not weigh on their minds during deliberations.

Steele told jurors that when they look at all the evidence there should only be one conclusion — that Cosby is guilty of all the charges.

Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

“Don’t let her declare victory,” Cosby's attorney says during closing arguments

Bill Cosby's attorney Brian McMonagle gave an impassioned closing argument in defense of his client while Andrea Constand, her mother, and other women who have accused the comedian of sexual assault watched.

McMonagle first reminded the jury that the outcome of the case will have serious consequences.

"We aren't talking about money. We are talking about all the man's tomorrows," McMonagle said. "If you have any doubts then you must acquit," he urged the jury.

McMonagle then went methodically through all the police reports and statements by Constand to demonstrate inconsistencies. He highlighted the fact that Constand initially told police that she believed the assault took place in March 2004 after a group dinner at a restaurant, but later told them it occurred a different night after she went directly to the comedian's house to discuss her desire to leave Temple University.

He reminded the jury that while Constand said at first that she had never been alone with Cosby and that she never tried to contact him again, she later amended her initial reports to police. McMonagle said the police and Constand moved the date of the assault after they obtained her phone records, which showed numerous phone calls to Cosby in March.

"Her story begins to unravel," said McMonagle. "This isn't talking to a trustee, this is talking to a lover," he said on the length of the calls, which sometimes reached 49 minutes. "It's a relationship."

Constand watched the jury and McMonagle intently, and occasionally glanced at her mother.

In 2005, McMonagle said, the district attorney himself put together a team to conduct an investigation which revealed that "Ms. Constand was untruthful, time and time again … and they put this case in the trash."

McMonagle then put up Constand's phone records highlighting her calls to lawyers.

"We also know that she did in terms of calling lawyers, and calling lawyers, and calling lawyers," he said. "Why are we running from the truth of this case and this relationship?"

McMonagle said he didn't need to put Cosby on the stand because the district attorney had already put his words in front of the jury. Cosby, he said, has never changed his story.

"He didn't run from any of it," said McMonagle. Cosby even told police that he spoke to Constand's mother and told her everything in graphic detail, McMonagle said. Cosby got up and made Constand tea and muffins, McMonagle added.

McMonagle said he found it unbelievable that Benadryl could have affected Constand in the way she described.

"Paralyzed by Benadryl? Paralyzed?" he said. He reminded the jury that he asked the district attorney's doctor if he could give his wife three halves of Benadryl, bring her over to the couch, be sexually intimate with her, and then she can go to sleep. "Remember he said 'I hope so.'"

McMonagle said a person who cared about another person could give them Benadryl and then leave them on the couch later to sleep. He also said that Cosby agreed to pay for Constand's graduate school because "when you dance outside the marriage you've got to pay the bandit, and he danced."

"Why are we here?" McMonagle asked the jury. "We are not here because of Andrea Constand; we are here because of this nonsense," he said as he put the name of Kelly Johnson — the other alleged sexual assault victim who testified at the trial — on the screen. He then pointed to the rows of media in the courtroom. "We are here because of them. Bang the drum," he said, pounding on the table.

McMonagle stressed that there is reasonable doubt in the case. "It all blows up under the light of day, and you are here to be that light," he said to the jury.

"Someone's life is on the line," said McMonagle, urging the jury to look closely at the evidence. "Don't let her declare victory," he said.

Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

DAY 6: Defense rests after three minutes as Cosby declines to take the stand

Bill Cosby's legal team called only one witness to testify in the comedian's defense on Monday, as the star himself declined to take the stand.

Cosby himself told the judge that he will neither testify nor bring any character witnesses to testify on his behalf, despite the fact that his wife Camille was present in court for the first time in the six-day-old trial.

When Judge Steven O'Neill found out about Cosby's plans for a "limited defense" he put Cosby under oath — asking him if he consented to this plan by his attorneys, and whether he had agreed out of his own volition to not take the stand and testify in his own defense.

"Correct," replied Cosby.

The only witness to testify for the defense was Sgt. Richard Schaffer, who had already taken the stand for the prosecution.

Cosby's legal team called Schaffer to the stand at 10:20 a.m. and asked him whether he plans to follow up on looking into Cosby's vision, and the initial police report he took from Constand.

Three minutes later, at 10:23 a.m., Cosby's attorney Brian McMonagle said "no further questions."

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

Prosecution rests its case after hammering on Cosby's use of sedatives

Bill Cosby says nothing as he leaves court for day

The prosecution in Bill Cosby's rape trial rested its case on Friday after a day of testimony centered on the comedian's alleged use of sedatives on women, including his 2005 testimony that he obtained seven prescriptions for quaaludes that he never intended to take himself.

Instead, Cosby admitted he obtained the quaaludes to give to young women he wanted to have sex with.

His testimony was part of a deposition that prosecutors in Pennsylvania read back to jurors for a second day, as Cosby faces aggravated sexual assault charges for allegedly drugging and then raping Andrea Constand at his suburban home in 2004.

The deposition was part of a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005, which was settled a year later. In 2015, however, a federal judge ordered portions of the transcript unsealed. Cosby's testimony about procuring now-banned sedatives for sexual use factored into the current criminal case being opened.

Cosby has insisted the sexual contact between him and Constand was consensual, and that when she visited him that night he gave her Benadryl tablets to help calm her down.

Constand testified this week that the effect of the pills was so strong that she couldn't move or resist Cosby, and that she even briefly lost consciousness.

The prosecution's last witness, forensic toxicologist Timothy Rohrig, testified on Friday that Benadryl is often used as a sleep aid, but that its side effects can include blurred vision, stumbling, and poor muscle coordination. 

The symptoms Constand described could have been caused by Benadryl, Rohrig said, adding that he has worked on several sexual assault cases where perpetrators have used Benadryl to subdue their victims.

With the prosecution having rested its case, Cosby's team will mount its defense on Monday. The 79-year-old comedian has said he does not plan to testify in his own defense, but his spokesperson, speaking outside the courtroom on Friday, said that hadn't been completely ruled out.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

DAY 5: Cosby was concerned about being perceived as a "dirty old man"

Bill Cosby testified in a deposition that when the mother of the woman he is accused of raping confronted him on the phone in 2005, he was concerned that she would think he was a "dirty old man."

Cosby's testimony in a civil lawsuit filed by Andrea Constand, the woman he is now criminally accused of drugging and raping, was read to jurors in a Pennsylvania courtroom for a second consecutive day on Friday.

At the time of the alleged assault in 2004 Cosby was 66 and Constand was 30. He told attorneys in the deposition that when her mother called to grill him about the encounter, he was "thinking and praying" that he wasn't being recorded as he apologized for giving Constand pills and fondling her.

"I'm apologizing because I am thinking, 'This a dirty old man with a young girl,'" he said, according to the excerpt read in court on Friday.

Cosby also said in the deposition that one of his immediate thoughts during the call was, "My god, I'm in trouble."

Cosby faces aggravated sexual assault charges that he invited Constand over to his suburban home, incapacitated her with sedatives, and raped her with his fingers.

He has insisted that the encounter was consensual and part of a romantic relationship between the pair.

Outside the courtroom during recess, Cosby's spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, told reporters that the comedian was in good spirits and did not consider Constand's testimony damaging. Wyatt said that Cosby was merely trying to keep the relationship he had with Constand secret from his wife, who has so far not appeared at the trial.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

DAY 4: Jurors hear previous Cosby testimony detailing his version of events the night of alleged rape

Bill Cosby isn't taking the stand during his rape trial, but he spoke to the jury on Thursday nonetheless.

The transcript of the deposition Cosby gave in 2005 during the civil lawsuit filed by his alleged rape victim, Andrea Constand, was projected on a screen for jurors. Constand says the comedian incapacitated her with sedatives at his suburban Pennsylvania home in 2004, before raping her with his fingers.

In the deposition, which Montgomery District Attorney Kevin Steele read line-by-line, Cosby said Constand came to his house on his invitation. He said she seemed stressed, and so he retrieved one and a half blue pills, although they were broken so it looked like three pills. 

"Your friends," Cosby recalled calling the pills. "I have these three friends for you." 

Constand has testified that when she asked Cosby told her they were herbal pills, but in the deposition Cosby said she never inquired. He said that after she took them they spoke for 10 to 15 minutes, and then moved into the living room to sit down.

Cosby testified that Constand seemed relaxed, and had stopped talking about Temple University and moving to Canada. He then began to kiss her neck. 

"We rubbed, we kissed, and then I stopped," Cosby testified.

Constand testified this week that her body felt "frozen," and that she was unable to resist Cosby as he penetrated her with his fingers and masturbated.

However, in his 2005 deposition, Cosby said Constand got on top of him before they moved into a spooning position.

"I got inside her pants," Cosby said. "It's awkward. It's uncomfortable." 

But then, Cosby said, Constand pushed his hand in further, adding "she doesn't talk, but makes a sound that sounds like an orgasm."

Under the judge's order, the jury was not told on Thursday where the deposition was from, nor that Cosby settled with Constand in the civil case a year later. The testimony he gave in that deposition, however, was widely reported in 2015 when a federal judge, citing public interest, ordered parts of the transcript unsealed based on a request filed by the Associated Press.

A cascade of more than 50 women came forward with similar allegations of being drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby. The statute of limitations had expired for nearly all the claims by then — except for Constand's.

Cosby, 79, faces more than 10 years in jail if convicted of the sexual assault charges.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

DAY 4: Cosby denied rape: "We were petting and I enjoyed it"

Bill Cosby told police who initially investigated allegations that he raped a woman at his home in 2004 that it was consensual "petting" and just one of several romantic encounters between the two, the lead investigator testified on Thursday.

On day four of testimony in Cosby's rape trial in Pennsylvania, Sgt. Richard Schaffer of Cheltenham police told jurors that the comedian also said in an interview that the woman, Andrea Constand, remained awake and active after taking one and a half Benadryl tablets.

Constand says Cosby tricked her into taking a powerful sedative that rendered her incapacitated and unable to resist being sexually assaulted. The 79-year-old comedian is facing three charges of aggravated sexual assault.

Schaffer said that after taking Constand's report he traveled to New York City in 2005 with his police chief to interview Cosby, whose attorneys were present.

According to Schaffer, Cosby said he put his hands under Constand's clothing, and that she never told him to stop as he touched her genitals. He also denied that Constand was unable to move, or that he took out his penis.

"I never intended to have sexual intercourse with Andrea," Cosby said, according to Schaffer. "We were petting and I enjoyed it. Then we stopped and I went up to bed."

Cosby also recalled another instance in which Constand visited his home and there was "some petting and touching of private parts."

"I lifted up her shirt … I put my lips to her breast and she said stop," Cosby said in the police interview. He told the officers he never ejaculated.

When asked if he had ever known Andrea to be untruthful, Cosby said "no."

The district attorney at the time, Bruce Castor, declined to file charges against Cosby, deciding that there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

That all changed under a new district attorney after Cosby's testimony in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand was ordered unsealed, and dozens of women came forward with similar allegations of drugging and sexual assault.

Cosby's attorneys have sought to portray Constand and other alleged victims as opportunistic and untrustworthy. They have pitted the alleged victims' word against that of America's Dad, essentially boiling the case down to one of credibility.

Cosby's attorney, Brian McMonagle, reiterated during cross-examination that Constand had continued to make calls to his client after the alleged rape, including on Valentine's Day.

He also asked Schaffer to recall Cosby telling the officers in the interview that, in one instance, Cosby had stopped kissing Constand's breasts when she asked him to stop.

"Yeah, he was a real gentlemen there," Schaffer responded.

McMonagle ended by hammering on the outcome of the police interview.

"The [district attorney] said no formal charges, right?"

"Yes," Schaffer answered.

"I'm through," McMonagle said.

As he sat down, Cosby smiled as he pumped his fist in the air.

Schaffer's testimony came the day after Constand and her mother took the stand to deliver emotional testimony on the alleged assault and resulting confrontation, in which Cosby allegedly said he felt "like a perverted person" in an apology over the phone.

The comedian faces more than a decade in jail if convicted of the charges.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

DAY 3: Andrea Constand's mother says Cosby told her there was "no penile penetration, only digital"

The mother of the woman Bill Cosby is charged with drugging and raping at his home in 2004 told jurors on Wednesday that the comedian told her he felt like a "perverted person" over what had happened.

"He called me 'mom' all throughout the conversation, saying, 'Don't worry, mom, there was no penile penetration, only digital," Gianna Constand said Cosby told her. "He said, 'I feel bad telling you — I feel like a perverted person.'"

Cosby is facing aggravated sexual assault charges for allegedly drugging Andrea Constand with sedatives, rendering her unable to resist as he sexually assaulted her at his suburban Philadelphia home.

He has insisted that the interaction was consensual. Defense attorneys have argued that Andrea Constand had participated in romantic encounters with the comedian prior to the alleged incident.

However, a visibly upset Gianna Constand told jurors on day three of testimony that her daughter had slipped into a pattern of nightmares. She said her daughter didn't tell her about the alleged assault until a phone call, during which she yelled "I think I have PTSD ... Mom, you don't know. He drugged me and he raped me." 

Gianna Constand testified that she didn't know the details of what happened until she called the comedian to confront him.

"I kept asking, 'Why did you do that to Andrea … why did you drug her? What if she died?'" she said.

Cosby's attorney argued in cross-examination that Cosby only said he was sorry because he was a married man, to which Gianna Constand replied: "No. He said he was sorry for what he did."

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

DAY 3: Andrea Constand says there wasn't romance with Cosby prior to alleged sexual assault

The woman at the center of Bill Cosby's rape trial denied under cross-examination on Wednesday that she had a romantic relationship with the comedian prior to allegedly being drugged and sexually assaulted at his home in 2004.

Andrea Constand, who says Cosby sexually assaulted her after becoming her mentor for career advice, was put in the hot seat for a second day of cross-examination, as the comedian's defense team attempted to pick apart her version of events, painstakingly going through phone records and police reports to point out inconsistencies in her statement.

Constand testified on Tuesday that she had gone to Cosby's suburban home in Philadelphia to discuss her career when he gave her three pills that left her paralyzed. She testified that he penetrated her with his fingers and that she was unable to resist or tell him to stop.

Cosby's attorney, Angela Agrusa, spent a great deal of time on Wednesday trying to show that the encounters Constand had with Cosby prior to the alleged sexual assault were romantic in nature, and that she was well aware of his intentions.

At one point, the cross-examination became heated when Agrusa, referring to testimony given on Tuesday, asked Constand why she didn't tell anyone that Cosby unbuttoned her pants, undid the zipper, and proceeded to touch her. Constand said she did not look down to see the button was undone, moved forward to stop Cosby from undoing her zipper, and then added emphatically "he did not touch me." 

"You allowed him to touch you?" Agrusa said.

"You said allowed. I didn't," Constand replied.

Agrusa then asked if they embraced when she left the house.

"I left shortly after he made a sexual advance at me," Constand replied.

Agrusa also poured over volumes of phone records to show that Constand had been in constant contact with the comedian — sometimes multiple times a day and at least twice on Valentine's Day. Some of the calls to Cosby took place after the alleged assault.

Constand, now 44, has said that the phone calls involved the women's basketball team she managed at Cosby's alma mater, Temple University, since he was on the board of trustees at the time.

Cosby, who arrived at the courthouse accompanied by Sheila Frazier, who starred with him in the 1978 comedy California Suite, looked in Constand's direction as she testified, sometimes rubbing his temples.

The 79-year-old comedian, who cultivated his persona as America's Dad through his role as Dr. Huxtable on The Cosby Show, faces three charges of indecent aggravated sexual assault in a case brought after transcripts of his testimony in a civil lawsuit brought by Constand were ordered released.

Those transcripts showed that Cosby had admitted to procuring now-banned sedatives decades ago to use with women he wanted to have sex with, but whether he administered them without consent was never addressed. In recent years, more than 50 women have publicly accused Cosby of drugging and sexual assault, although nearly all of their allegations fall outside the statute of limitations.

After Agrusa's line of questioning, Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden asked Constand to summarize what she had told police — that Cosby said the pills were herbal, that he helped her to the couch, that she passed out, and that Cosby fondled her breast and put his fingers inside her vagina before sexually gratifying himself using her hand.

"And you did consent to any of that?" Feden asked. 

"No," Constand replied. 

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

DAY 2: Cosby's accuser recalls alleged rape: "I was frozen"

The woman who alleges that Bill Cosby drugged and raped her at his home in 2004 took the stand at his trial for the first time on Tuesday, describing an escalating pattern of sexual advances that culminated in her being incapacitated as the man she had grown to trust raped her.

Andrea Constand, who met Cosby through her work at his alma mater, Temple University, told jurors in Pennsylvania that after several invites to his home for group dinners, he at one point attempted to unbutton her pants.

"I said: 'I'm not here for that, I don't want that,'" she said, adding that she brushed off the encounter.

After 16 months of friendship, Constand said Cosby invited her to his home in 2004 to discuss her changing her career path to massage therapy.

"He opened his hand and had three blue pills in his hand," Constand said. "He said, 'These will help you relax.' I asked, 'What are they? Are they herbal?' And he mentioned yes.

"He said, "Swallow them down.' He gave me water and I said, 'I trust you,' and I swallowed them down."

Constand went on to describe how her speech became slurred, and she began to lose control of her body. She said she didn't remember passing out until sometime later, when she was "jolted awake" and felt Cosby's hand groping her breast, his hand inside her vagina as he masturbated.

"In my head, I was trying to get my hands and my legs to move, but I was frozen," said Constand, her voice shaking.  "I wasn't able to fight in any way. I wanted it to stop."

After she regained control, Constand said she felt "humiliated and I was really confused."

Constand testified that she then realized she was standing near where the incident had taken place and became nervous. Cosby refused to tell her what he had given her. 

"He was evasive with me so I left," she said.

Cosby faces three charges of indecent sexual assault related to the alleged incident.

During cross-examination, Cosby's lawyer, Angela Agrusa, tried to point out inconsistencies in Constand's statements to Toronto police. According to its report taken in 2005, Constand said she first met Cosby in 2004, when they actually met in 2002. Agrusa asked why she also told police she had not been alone with Cosby before the alleged assault, when that hadn't been the case.

"I also testified I was really nervous," said Constand. She said she could not explain why the police officer wrote those things in his report. "I answered the officer's questions as best as I could."

Constand acknowledged under questioning that she had, in part, befriended Cosby to help her with a possible broadcast career. Agrusa also tried to frame prior instances that Constand had characterized as "sexually suggested contact" — where she said Cosby touched her leg and tried to unzip her pants — as consensual sexual contact.

Following Tuesday's testimony, Cosby again declined to answer reporters' questions outside the courthouse.

Bill Cosby leaving the courtroom after Andrea Constad testified against him . A small group cheered "we love you Bi… https://t.co/TWBfdaSSIA

Agrusa is scheduled to resume her cross examination on Wednesday.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

DAY 2: Mother and workers' comp attorney bolster second accuser's sex assault allegations

A second woman's allegation that Bill Cosby drugged and raped her at a hotel in Bel Air in the mid-90s was reinforced on Tuesday by her mother and a workers' compensation attorney who took the stand on day two of the comedian's rape trial.

Kelly Johnson testified on Monday that Cosby, after establishing an unsolicited friendship with her at the William Morris Agency that represented him, invited her to his suite at the Hotel Bel-Air, where he insisted she take a pill that incapacitated her. He then pulled her dress down while she was unconscious, and forcibly used her hand to masturbate when she came to, Johnson testified.

Her mother, Patrice Sewell, told jurors on Tuesday that Johnson's father, a retired Los Angeles police detective, advised her against going to the authorities because of the "shame and embarrassment of what he saw other women" go through in similar circumstances.

Not long after the alleged incident, Johnson said she listened in on a phone call between Cosby and her superior in which Cosby suggested they dismiss her. She subsequently filed a workers' compensation claim against the William Morris Agency.

Joseph Miller, an attorney who represented William Morris during the litigation, testified that despite the fact Johnson gave the deposition roughly 21 years ago, it was etched in his memory because of the mention of Cosby and "incidents of a sexual nature."

He corroborated that Johnson had related the same sequence of events to him, as well as the fact that Cosby had called her repeatedly at the agency.

"I think she found that very uncomfortable," Miller said. "I remember she cried several times."

The William Morris Agency eventually settled the case with Johnson for a lump sum, he added.

The testimony came the day after Cosby's attorneys attacked Johnson's credibility, questioning discrepancies in her account of the alleged incident two decades ago such as her not recalling how she got home. During cross-examination on Tuesday, they tried to paint Johnson as a disgruntled employee who left William Morris due to mistreatment by her boss, agent Tom Illius, and not because of her interactions with Cosby.

Prosecutors hope Johnson's allegations will bolster their case that Cosby had a modus operandi that he allegedly also deployed with Andrea Constand at his home in Pennsylvania in 2004. She alleges that he also gave her a sedative, and then raped her while she was incapacitated.

Cosby, 79, said in civil litigation related to the Constand case that he procured now-illegal sedatives decades ago to use with women he pursued for sex. But he has insisted that the encounter with Constand was consensual.

He faces three charges of aggravated indecent sexual assault in the Constand case, with each carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

DAY 1: Woman testifies that she too was drugged and assaulted by Cosby

A second woman who says she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby took the stand on the first day of the comedian's rape trial on Monday, as prosecutors sought to bolster their case that Cosby was a serial offender.

Cosby is facing sexual assault charges for allegedly drugging and then raping Andrea Constand at his Pennsylvania home in 2004.

Prosecutors had asked the judge to allow 13 women making similar allegations to testify, but in the end he allowed only Kelly Johnson to take the stand.

Johnson testified on Monday that Cosby cultivated an unsolicited friendship with her in the mid-90s through her work as an assistant to Tom Illius, who was the comedian's personal assistant at the William Morris Agency in Los Angeles.

Johnson was eventually invited to meet Cosby at the Hotel Bel-Air, where she was told he was waiting in his suite, she told the jury. Dressed in a bathrobe, he allegedly offered her a large white pill to calm her nerves.

When she refused, Johnson said he insisted she take it, going so far as to check under her tongue to make sure she had swallowed it. Soon after, Johnson said, she felt "like I was under water." When she came to, she was on the bed and Cosby was behind her, she said.

Johnson broke down in tears as she told jurors that her dress was pulled down, exposing her breasts. Cosby, who was standing by the bed, put lotion in her hand and "made me touch his penis," she said.

Johnson said she doesn't remember anything else about the alleged encounter, or even leaving the hotel.

Johnson said she told her parents, but her father, a retired Los Angeles police officer, did not encourage her to report it to the police. She also testified that Cosby encouraged management at William Morris to get rid of her. Months later, she lost her job.

Cosby's defense attorney, Brian McMonagle, accused Johnson of having "selective amnesia," noting that she said in an earlier deposition that she had driven home. McMonagle also said Johnson never mentioned Cosby during her human resources meeting at William Morris, despite telling the jury she had overheard him pushing for her to be fired.

When asked by the prosecutor to explain why she hadn't, Johnson said she was too embarrassed.

"I was humiliated and embarrassed," she said. "I was very afraid because I had a secret about the biggest celebrity … It was just me. I was afraid."

Cosby, who turns 80 on July 12, faces up to 10 years in prison for each of the three counts of aggravated sexual assault with which he is charged. If convicted, he would also have to register as a sex offender.

He is not expected to take the stand in his own defense.

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Posted at

DAY 1: Opening arguments set stage for battle over credibility

Bill Cosby entered a courtroom in Pennsylvania on Monday to defend himself, for the first time, against criminal allegations of sexual assault. Many experts say the trial will come down to who jurors find more credible: America's Dad? Or the woman who says he drugged and raped her in 2004?

"These three pills will help you relax, his words," Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden told jurors on Monday. "This is a case about a man who used his power and his fame and incapacitated a young woman so he could sexually pleasure himself."

That woman, Andrea Constand, said she trusted Cosby, who was 37 years her senior. After developing a paternal friendship with him at his alma mater, she eventually accepted his offer to meet at his home in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, to discuss her career plans.

Cosby admitted to authorities that the incident took place, but insisted it was consensual, according to a criminal complaint. Cosby also told police he apologized to Constand's mother, and that his offer to pay for Constand to attend graduate school was turned down.

"Trust, betrayal, and the inability to consent — that is what this case is about," Feden told jurors.

Trust and betrayal were also harnessed as themes by Cosby's defense attorney, Brian McMonagle, who framed the case as a man being the victim of false allegations.

He told the jury that, as a former prosecutor, he knows sexual assault is a terrible crime, but that "the only thing worse than that is the false accusation of sexual assault."

"False accusation of sexual assault is an assault on human dignity," McMonagle said. "It can destroy his life, it can destroy his dignity."

Then, putting his hand on Cosby's shoulder, he asked the 12-member jury to take a close look at his client.

"I get a chance today to protect a man," McMonagle said. "What do you see? A comedian who made us smile at times when it was time to smile? Some of you may see a man made vulnerable through his infidelities. Some of you might see a man who has suffered undeniable personal tragedy. But I just ask you to see him as a citizen.

"A false accusation can destroy a life."

More than losing what he has left of his legacy, Cosby, who turns 80 in July, faces serious prison time if convicted — 10 years each for the three counts of aggravated indecent sexual assault.

In the deposition for the civil lawsuit he settled with Constand, Cosby admitted to procuring now-banned sedatives known as quaaludes to administer to women he was pursuing for sex in the 1970s. However, his attorneys intervened before he could answer a question as to whether he had slipped any women the drugs without their knowledge.

In July 2015, when portions of Cosby's deposition in the civil lawsuit were ordered released for the first time, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office re-opened a criminal investigation into the 10-year-old case, prompting the charges.

Cosby has been publicly accused of drugging and sexual assault by more than 50 other women in recent years. Prosecutors are expected to try to show a modus operandi on the comedian's part by calling a second alleged victim to the stand.

But McMonagle said Cosby only used sedatives with women on a consensual basis decades ago "when it was fashionable," and that if any pattern can be shown, it's that Constand and the other alleged victim, Kelly Johnson, are opportunistic.

Johnson came forward in 2015 to make her allegations public at a press conference.

"See a pattern?" McMonagle said. "Right to the cameras … Does she go to the police after that? No, media tour. Dr. Phil."

Before opening statements, Cosby arrived to a throng of cameras flanked by Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played his daughter, Rudy, on the top-rated "Cosby Show." When asked how he was feeling, he didn't respond.

Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who represents many of the women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault, told the Associated Press outside the court that she is hopeful "there will be justice in this case."

The statute of limitations has run out on the allegations made by her clients. She declined to predict an outcome, but said that "this case is not going to be decided on optics, it's going to be decided on the evidence, and, finally, it's Mr. Cosby who's going to have to face that evidence and confront the accusers who are against him."

—Claudia Rosenbaum

Skip to footer