Mentor or manipulator? Friend or foe? After six days of sensitive testimony, thundering attorneys, and evidence presentation, twelve jurors left the courtroom to decide Bill Cosby’s fate in the Philadelphia suburb. Consisting of seven men and five women from the Pittsburgh area, the jurors remained relatively emotionless as they sat listening to the roaring closing arguments for four hours late Monday afternoon.
Receiving final instructions from Steven T. O’Neill, the presiding Montgomery County judge, the jurors exited the courtroom to decide whether the 79-year-old comedian is guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, which holds up to a ten-year sentence each. The jury deliberated for four hours and will reconvene Tuesday morning. Career prosecutor Kevin Steele tried to focus jurors on the fact that Cosby admitted he gave pills to his alleged victim, Andrea Constand, and testified he called the pills “three friends to help you relax.”
With his face turning red with anger and voice full of disgust, Steele said, “Who says something like that?” as he pleaded to the jury during his closing arguments to convict Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting Constand when she was thirty in 2004. In contrast, defense attorney Brian McMonagle spoke through gritted teeth that Cosby was a victim of worthless accusations by women who wanted to appear on television shows. “You know why we’re here,” McMonagle said disparagingly as he nodded toward Victoria Valentino and Linda Kirkpatrick, two Cosby accusers who did not testify in the case. “Let’s be real.” McMonagle then proceeded to blame the media for giving the accusers, totaling to sixty victims, a platform.
After being mocked in the courtroom by the defense, Valentino said in an interview that she was proud to be singled out because she helped expose a man she called “the biggest serial rapist in American history.” Behind the defense table Camille Cosby, Cosby’s wife for more than fifty years, sat with her head held high and a small smile on her face as McMonagle called Cosby and Constand’s encounter a part of a year-long romance. After a week of conspicuous absence, Camille snuck into the courtroom while the judge was speaking. Due to the fact that she entered the courtroom in the middle of proceedings while the judge was speaking, the Montgomery Courthouse officials extended her an extraordinary and unprecedented courtesy. Cosby confirmed to O’Neill he would not be taking the stand during his trial. McMonagle tried to show the jury that Cosby was a flawed man and an unfaithful husband, but also a clever comedian. However, Steele continued to point out to the jury that Cosby had, in fact, already confessed, saying, “All the fancy lawyering you have can’t get you around your own words.” Now, the fate of the comedian is in the hands of the jury.