Bill Cosby May Still Testify at Sex Assault Trial: 'Sometimes the Star Player Plays,' Rep Says
The defense will began presenting its case on Monday — and Cosby’s spokesman says his team has not ruled out having him testify in his own defense.
“Nothing is ever off the table in a trial of this magnitude,” Andrew Wyatt told reporters during the lunch break on Friday. “You have to look at all your options. In a ball game, things change and players are taken out and sometimes the star player plays and sometimes he doesn’t.”
Cosby, 79, has previously said he planned not to take the stand.
He is on trial for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, now 44, at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, mansion in January 2004.
He is charged with three counts of indecent aggravated assault, to which he has pleaded not guilty, insisting their sexual contact was consensual. He has denied similar allegations from more than 60 women.
Constand, who is gay, says their contact was not consensual.
Jurors spent the afternoon hearing from experts about drugs and sexual assaults. The jury also heard from a deposition in a long-settled civil suit brought by Constand in which Cosby discussed obtaining Quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex. One of those women was Therese Serignese, who was present in the courtroom but who did not comment to reporters.
Cosby maintains that he has never given Quaaludes to any woman without her consent.
“What was happening at that time — Quaaludes happened to be the drugs kids, young kids, were using to party with and there were times I wanted to have them just in case,” Cosby said in his deposition for the suit, which Constand settled with him in late 2006. Portions of the deposition were read to the court by a police detective.
Serignese was one of 12 “Jane Does” who came forward to support Constand in 2005 and be witnesses in her suit against Cosby.
As portions of the deposition were read in court, Cosby appeared to be enjoying his own responses, laughing at some of them from the defense table.
He shook his head “no” in advance of one question, before the detective could read his response in the negative.
The Final Witnesses of the Week
The jury also heard more from the prosecution’s sexual assault expert witness, Dr. Veronique Valliere, whose testimony the Cosby team has been vigorously trying to prevent.
Brian McMonagle, one of Cosby’s defense attorneys, filed a motion for a mistrial because of what he called her prejudicial testimony, but the judge denied it.
Valliere has a PhD in clinical psychology from Rutgers University and has treated thousands of sexual assault victims and offenders during 30-plus years in the field.
Memory loss, confusion, delayed reporting of the offense to authorities and continuing to see an offender after an alleged sexual assault are common in victims attacked by people they know, she testified — especially when intoxicants are used.
“People who go through these events can be depressed, anxious,” she said. “They can become confused. They can doubt their own sense of reality [and] their own self-worth. They can experience shame or embarrassment. They may try to put themselves into denial about what happened.”
When McMonagle cross-examined Valliere after the lunch break, he accused her of bias and pulled up a post from her business’ Facebook from February 2016 that included a story about the Cosby case with a comment from her.
Valliere denied she was biased and said she has not read any coverage of the case since being retained by the district attorney’s office as an expert in April.
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The last witness for the prosecution was Dr. Timothy Rohrig, a toxicologist who is director of the Sedgwick County, Kansas, Regional Forensic Center.
Constand alleges that Cosby drugged her in 2004 with what he said was herbal medication, leaving her with blurred vision, rubbery legs and the inability to move or speak. She says he then allegedly sexually assaulted her as she was powerless to resist.
He claims he gave Constand Benadryl and their encounter was consensual. His defense team has attempted to undercut her testimony by highlighting alleged inconsistencies.
Rohrig testified that all of Constand’s alleged symptoms are consistent with having taken Benadryl, Quaaludes or several other central nervous system depressants. There have been cases of drug-facilitated sexual assaults where Benadryl was used, he said.
Costand and her mother have both testified at Cosby’s trial, which began Monday, and her sister and brother-in-law have attended court all week in support.