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Cosby defense calls only one witness, lasts less than 10 minutes

By 10:30 am, the defense rested.

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. CREDIT: AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File
Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. CREDIT: AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

After the first week of a dramatic, sometimes emotional trial led by the prosecution, Monday marked Bill Cosby’s turn to defend himself.

The defense’s case lasted less than ten minutes.

Cosby stands accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. He’s been charged with aggravated indecent assault, a felony that can come with a ten year prison sentence.

Though Cosby had not been expected to testify on his own behalf, his spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, has recently hinted that Cosby could take the stand, saying last week, “Nothing is off the table.” But on Monday morning, Cosby, under oath, told Judge O’Neill emphatically that he has chosen not to testify in this case.

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Before Cosby was placed under oath, O’Neill said, “I can’t directly see you, but I know you’re over there.” Cosby thrust his hand in the air with almost comical strength. It was like a fist-pump, with his fingers splayed out.

Cosby only said “yes,” “no,” and “correct,” answering O’Neill’s questions with vigor. The defense called only one witness: Detective Richard Schaffer.

What Cosby’s team really hoped was that Cosby could just be acquitted first thing in the morning: Defense attorney Brian McMonagle moved to acquit because “the Commonwealth has not presented evidence to prove [the alleged assault] occurred within the 12 year statute” of limitations. He cited “Ms. Constand’s continual changing of the dates and uncertainty surrounding the dates.”

No dice. O’Neill denied those motions in pre-trial and, on Monday, denied them again.

On the stand, Detective Schaffer answered only a handful of questions about his interviews with Andrea Constand from 2005. He also affirmed that he noticed Cosby’s vision problems at the time of those interviews.

The cross-examination was over in minutes. By 10:30 a.m., the defense rested.