Criminal Justice

In a theatrical closing, Bill Cosby's lawyer argues sex was consensual; jurors begin deliberations

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Jurors in the sexual assault trial of Bill Cosby resume deliberations Tuesday after watching a theatrical closing argument by the actor and comedian’s lawyer on Monday before deliberating for four hours.

During closing arguments, lawyer Brian McMonagle argued the sex between Cosby and accuser Andrea Constand was consensual and the pills he gave her were not disabling, according to several press reports, including stories by the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and the Daily Beast.

Cosby is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from a 2004 incident at his suburban Philadelphia home.

He is accused of giving Constand three blue pills, claiming they would help her relax, then groping her and penetrating her with his hand while she was too groggy to resist.

The defense called just one witness, a police detective who had testified for the prosecution and who spent six minutes answering follow-up questions.

In closing arguments, McMonagle said there was a “relationship” between Constand and Cosby, and questioned her motives. He said Constand didn’t plan to file a charge until persuaded by civil lawyers.

“It’s sickening what happens when lawyers get involved,” he said. “It’s sickening what’s happening here.”

McMonagle pounded the defense table during the closing, according to the Post, at times whispering and at other times speaking in “exasperated shouts,” according to USA Today.

The Los Angeles Times describes McMonagle’s theatrics: “He paced, he gestured, he whipped his head around in disbelief. At one point he stood at the witness box and rested his head in his hand; another time he crouched down and got very close to Cosby’s face as he made a point.”

Prosecutor Kevin Steele emphasized Constand’s testimony that Cosby had claimed the blue pills were “three friends” to help her relax. “Who says something like that?” he asked.

“Drugging somebody to put them in a position so that you can do what you want to do is not romantic. It’s criminal,” he said.

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