NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania — The persistent rulings and objections made against Bill Cosby’s lawyers and the overtly bias testimony of prosecution witnesses who swore having no interest in the case likely have made it all but impossible for the iconic comedian to win an acquittal in his sexual assault trial in Pennsylvania.
On day five of the trial, prosecutors rested its case, paving the way for a dramatic finish beginning Monday with the possibility that Cosby may take the stand in his own defense.
On Friday, sandwiched between what had been touted as a damaging deposition given by Cosby 11 years ago, a sexual-assault expert described what she said were usual and unusual patterns of a victim, including explaining why they would wait to report the incident.
The expert, Veronique Valliere, however, was supposed to be a “blind witness,” meaning she had no bias and prosecutors had assured the jury that she wasn’t.
However, on cross-examination by lead defense attorney Brian McMonagle, the expert wilted.
“You’re biased in this case, aren’t you?” McMonagle asked.
When she denied she had a bias, McMonagle showed the court a Facebook post from Valliere’s company that linked a Washington Post article about the Cosby case.
While having never stumbled in any of her responses to questions from prosecutors, Valliere’s memory appeared tested as she said she couldn’t remember posting the article.
Also, despite clear evidence that comments were made by her in the post, she also initially refused to admit she had commented.
“Victory — the case lives on,” read one of her posts.
Cosby’s lawyers still lost a motion for a mistrial.
Judge Steven T. O’Neill has continuously ruled against Cosby’s team, including several pretrial and in-trial motions that would seem to level the playing field in the case.
Perhaps the most controversial ruling was the inclusion of Cosby’s deposition in which he admits providing Quaaludes to women he would have sex with.
It had already been testified to that Cosby provided former Temple University employee Andrea Constand with Benadryl and not Quaaludes, seemingly rendering mute testimony about the drug.
Still, the deposition may not have struck too big a chord with jurors, who had been taking notes but appeared to stop when prosecutors showed the statement on a big screen in the courtroom.
Also, in the deposition, Cosby never said he’d given Constand Quaaludes. The comedian said the women he’d given them to all consented to taking what he said was considered the party drug of that time.
“They became in those days what was known as high,” Cosby said in the statement.
Earlier, a local police sergeant who had been sitting in the courtroom throughout the trial testified about his interviews with Cosby and Constand.
The officer, Cheltenham Township County police Sgt. Richard Schaffer, claimed Constand immediately wanted to tell him her side of the story but he told her “to hold back.”
Three times Schaffer, who later was observed by onlookers as having unauthorized contact with some jurors, sarcastically called Cosby “a real gentleman.”
Cosby, 79, faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the three counts of second-degree aggravated indecent assault. He has maintained that his encounters with Constand were consensual and that she never objected to him providing her a Benadryl pill to “relax.”
In several sworn statements, neither Constand nor Cosby contradict the comedian’s account that Constand took the pills willingly.
Testimony also has shown that, prior to the January 2004 incident at Cosby’s Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, home, Cosby and Constand had engaged in some intimate contact.
“When she said stop, I stopped,” Cosby said in his statements.
Cosby publicist Andrew Wyatt told reporters there’s still a chance the comedian may take the stand in his own defense. Jurors likely will get to deliberate early next week.