Belfast Telegraph

Bill Cosby case handed to jury

The actor maintains he is innocent.

Jurors have begun their deliberations in Bill Cosby's sex assault trial.

The disgraced comedian is fighting three charges of aggravated indecent assault, amid allegations he drugged and attacked Andrea Constand, a former employee at his alma mater, Temple University, during a 2004 encounter at his Pennsylvania home.

The married 79-year-old has long maintained the sex he had with Constand, now 44, was consensual, but she took the witness stand last week (ends09Jun17) and told the Montgomery County Courthouse Cosby had given her three blue pills, which he alleged were supplements, to help her "relax". She claimed she passed out, but was "jolted awake" when she felt her body being violated.

Cosby's lawyers repeatedly challenged Constand's recollection of events, and called into question her credibility, noting she only reported the incident to police about a year after the alleged attack, and then changed her story three times during interviews.

He was not charged with any crimes at the time, but he did settle a civil suit with her out of court in 2006.

The criminal case was reopened in 2015, after his previously-sealed testimony from the civil proceedings was made public. In the deposition, The Cosby Show star confessed to obtaining strong sedatives to hand out to females he wanted to have sex with, although he insisted he didn't use them when he is alleged to have assaulted Constand.

The actor did not testify in the case, which wrapped on Monday (12Jun17).

Cosby, who has been accused of decades-old sexual misconduct by more than 50 women in recent years, faces a lengthy jail stint if convicted.

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