Jury in Bill Cosby sex assault case studies his deposition
NORRISTOWN, Pa. — The jury in the Bill Cosby sexual assault case, weighing charges that could send him to prison for the rest of his life, drilled down Tuesday on what the TV star said happened inside his suburban Philadelphia home and how he characterized his relationship with the accuser.
With deliberations stretching into the evening of a second day, jurors reviewed more than a dozen passages from a deposition Cosby gave more than a decade ago. They heard excerpts on a wide range of topics, from Cosby’s first meeting with Andrea Constand to the night in 2004 she says he drugged and violated her.
As he described reaching into Constand’s pants, Cosby testified, “I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped.”
Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting Constand, 44. His lawyer has said they were lovers sharing a consensual sexual encounter.
The 79-year-old entertainer did not take the stand at his trial, but prosecutors used his deposition testimony — given in 2005 and 2006 as part of Constand’s civil suit against him — as evidence.
As they pored over Cosby’s words, the jurors appeared to struggle with some language in one of the charges against him: “without her knowledge.” The jury asked about the phrasing Tuesday morning, but Judge Steven O’Neill said he could not define it for them.
The jury is considering three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault. The third count covers Cosby’s alleged use of pills to impair Constand before groping her breast and genitals.
Outside the courthouse, Constand’s lawyers blasted the Cosby team Tuesday for releasing a statement from a woman who had been blocked from testifying at the trial.
Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, read the statement from longtime Temple University official Marguerite Jackson, who said Constand told her of a plan to falsely accuse a “high-profile person” of sexual assault so she could sue and get money.
A judge blocked Jackson from taking the stand, ruling it would be hearsay. Constand said on the witness stand she did not know Jackson.
Constand’s lawyer, Dolores Troiani, told reporters that Jackson is “not telling the truth” and faulted Wyatt for circulating Jackson’s statement while jurors were deliberating.
Jackson stood by her account, telling The Associated Press in a phone interview that Cosby’s lawyers are “going to say whatever they need to say.”