Finally! The Charges Against Bill Cosby and Sentence Ahead
Bill Cosby’s defense rested after a single brief witness in his sexual assault trial.
The defense case consisted of a six-minute appearance by a detective, seemingly designed to remind jurors that Andrea Constand had visited with Cosby at an out-of-state casino and that police knew he had vision problems even then.
His lawyers said in closing arguments on Monday that Cosby is being prosecuted now because of a media firestorm after excerpts from his lurid deposition became public. The defense says when the case began it was about money, but now it’s a about a man’s liberty.
Jurors in the Cosby sexual assault trial started deliberating at 17:30.
They were sent back to their hotel late on Monday night after deliberating for about four hours on the sixth day of the trial.
The jury in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial will resume deliberations on Tuesday.
Cosby is accused of drugging and violating a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in January 2004. Cosby’s lawyers have argued that the encounter was consensual.
The 79-year-old comedian is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Each felony count carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Here’s a look at the sexual assault charges against Cosby and the punishment he could face if convicted.
WHAT IS COSBY ACCUSED OF?
He is accused of drugging and sexually violating a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Andrea Constand says Cosby gave her pills that made her paralysed and unable to fight him off as he groped her breast and genitals. His lawyers said they were in a romantic relationship and what happened was consensual. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.
WHAT IS HE CHARGED WITH?
Three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault, each covering a different aspect of the alleged crime.
Count 1 alleges that Cosby didn’t have consent when he penetrated Constand’s genitals with his fingers.
Count 2 alleges she was unconscious or semi-conscious at the time and could not give consent.
Count 3 alleges all this happened after he gave her an intoxicant that substantially impaired her and stopped her from resisting.
HOW MUCH TIME COULD HE FACE?
Each of the three counts carries a sentence range of 5 to 10 years in prison.
That means a conviction on just one count could put Cosby in prison at least until he is 84 years old, based on state sentencing guidelines.
Pennsylvania judges seldom deviate from state sentencing guidelines, but they do have the power to decide whether a defendant serves the sentences for each count consecutively or at the same time.
If Cosby is convicted of multiple counts, some of the counts could be combined and handled as one count for sentencing.
WHAT’S THE WORST CASE SCENARIO FOR COSBY?
He’s convicted on all three counts, none of them merge and he’s ordered to serve his sentences consecutively. That would mean he’d tally a maximum 15-30 years in prison.
WOULD HE HAVE TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER?
Yes. If he is convicted, prosecutors say, Cosby would also have to register as a sex offender and face an assessment to determine if he is a sexually violent predator.
WOULD COSBY BE HAULED OFF IN HANDCUFFS RIGHT AWAY?
If convicted, Cosby could remain free until sentencing unless Judge Steven O’Neill revokes his $1m bail.
Philadelphia defense lawyer Alan Tauber says that’s less likely in Cosby’s case because his fame makes him an unlikely flight risk.