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NORRISTOWN, Penn. – Closure arguments in Bill Cosby's new sexual assault trial took place on Tuesday, the culmination of a dramatic trial in which a series of women testified that the comedian had drugged and assaulted them.
Cosby, 80, is charged with aggravated assault on a woman, Andrea Constand. The 45-year-old woman claims that Cosby drugged her and sexually assaulted her at home in January 2004. In this trial, unlike the first, prosecutors were allowed to call five additional accusers in addition to Constand.
Defense attorneys described Constand as lying about the sexual encounter, which Cosby said was consensual. Prosecutors said Cosby, famous for his role as Dr. Cliff Huxtable in "The Cosby Show," attacked Constand and said all the women who testified against him had "surprisingly similar stories."
In two hours of final arguments, Cosby's defense team painted Constand as a "swindler" and a "pathological liar" in search of fame and fortune and willing to extort Cosby in pursuit of those goals.
Defense attorney Kathleen Bliss began the final arguments by suggesting that Constand and the other women who testified were "motivated by a common movement, many of them represented by the same lawyer," she said, referring to attorney Gloria Allred and her lawyer. Attorney Lisa Bloom. Bliss emphasized an Allred proposal for a $ 100 million settlement fund in 2014. "He found out about the $ 100 million fund."
Tom Messereau, lead counsel for the defense, repeatedly emphasized what he said were discrepancies in Constand's testimony. Mesereau said the jury is the case of a "blind man of 80 years with a successful career that faces absolute ruin".
"This woman will say anything, she will absolutely say everything, she is a pathological liar," he added.
Mesereau took the jury through a PowerPoint presentation, noting 12 contradictory statements about the nature of her relationship with Cosby, even if they had flirted before the alleged assault, if ever alone and if she had been or was not the bed with him. He said that his statements were not simply "inconsistencies … they are lies".
Bliss also questioned the prosecution's decision to bring witnesses to testify that Cosby attacked them more than thirty years ago.
"How unfair is that?" He said. "Unearthing things from three decades ago". He also told the jury that they should not allow the #MeToo movement that has exposed dozens of men in the media, entertainment and the business world as sexual harassers, to influence their decision.
"Do not get me wrong, bad things are definitely happening". But, ladies and gentlemen, not all the accusations are true. His common sense tells him that, "he said. We have to deal with a sexual attack. It is a global problem, as we do with sexual harassment, wage inequality, social inequality, "he said.
" But questioning an accuser does not embarrass them. "
Prosecutor Kristen Feden told the jury that it was Cosby, not Constand, that he was the swindler and that all the women who testified against him had "all the amazingly similar stories."
"He took advantage of Andrea Constand in the same way that he attacked those five women "
Feden accused Cosby of selecting victims he thought he could silence, and used his image to" win the trust of young, aspiring and innocent women, to sexually assault them and deprive them of their own autonomy, "he said.
The prosecutor also attacked Bliss for "character murder" of the accusers.
"That murder of characters that Mrs. Bliss brought to these women was totally shameful," she said. Exact reason why women, victims of sexual assault and men do not report e crimes. "
Earlier on Tuesday morning, when the defense and the prosecution were preparing for their final arguments during a 12th day of trial, Cosby's wife, Camille, entered the courtroom by herself. Her husband at the defense table, offering words of encouragement and a kiss before sitting in the front row, had previously been absent from court when prosecutors called half a dozen prosecutors who testified that Cosby had drugged and assaulted them. sexually.