Deliberations began in Bill Cosby’s trial on charges of aggravated indecent assault on Monday night after prosecutors and defense attorneys made their final pleas to the jury.
In a fiery closing statement, defense attorney Brian McMonagle said the prosecution’s key witness, Andrea Constand, had too many inconsistencies in her story to be a reliable witness.
But District Attorney Kevin Steele said those inconsistencies were minor and little more than a distraction. He argued that Cosby used his role as a mentor and respected public figure to gain Constand’s trust and then drug her and take advantage of her.
Cosby, the famed comedian, did not testify in his own defense, and his defense rested after calling just one repeat witness for further questioning.
Jurors did hear Cosby’s side of the story, though not in his voice. Last week, police detectives read aloud his statements to police in 2005 and in his civil deposition in 2006 responding to the allegations. Cosby has pleaded not guilty to three charges of aggravated indecent assault.
The three charges accuse Cosby of assaulting Constand without her consent, assaulting her when she was unconscious, and assaulting her using drugs to substantially impair her ability to consent. He could face up to 10 years in prison for each charge.
Jurors were bused from Pittsburgh to the Montgomery County courthouse outside Philadelphia and sequestered in hotels during the trial. The jury began deliberating about 5:25 p.m. and asked the court one question around 7:15 p.m. and another at 9:30 p.m.
Jurors stopped for the day after four hours of deliberations and will return to court Tuesday morning.