US & Canada

Cosby trial: Deliberating jury revisits evidence

Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennslyvania. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The embattled comedian awaits his fate as the jury enters its first full day of deliberation

A jury deliberating Bill Cosby's sex assault trial has again heard excerpts of his testimony from a 2005-06 civil case involving his accuser.

Andrea Constand claims the US comedian drugged and molested her at his Philadelphia home in 2004. Mr Cosby's lawyers argue the sex was consensual.

The jurors entered a second day of deliberations after failing to reach a verdict on Monday night.

If convicted, Mr Cosby, 79, faces up to a decade in prison.

Dozens of women say he assaulted them, but statutes of limitation rules mean he is on trial for only Ms Constand's allegation.

She claims he gave her three blue pills, which he described as "little friends", before sexually assaulting her.

Ms Constand, the 44-year-old at the centre of the case, settled a civil lawsuit with the embattled star in 2006 and was given an undisclosed cash sum.

She was in court on Tuesday morning, while the accused's wife, Camille Cosby, who accompanied him to court for the first time on Monday, was absent.

After deliberating for more than four hours on Monday, the jurors asked Judge Steven O'Neill to hear excerpts from Mr Cosby's unsealed 2005 deposition to clarify the context in which the comedian describes the pills he gave her during the encounter.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionCosby accuser Lili Bernard speaks out ahead of trial

Mr Cosby declined to testify in this case, but extracts from his previous deposition were read aloud for about 30 minutes in court.

These related to the number and type of sexual contacts Mr Cosby claimed to have with Ms Constand as well as his description of the night in question.

"Your friends," Mr Cosby said he told her in the 2005-06 deposition. "I have three friends for you to make you relax."

He later told police the pills were Benadryl, a cold and allergy medicine, and that what transpired was consensual.

"I wanted her to be comfortable and relaxed and be able to go to sleep after our necking session," he told police.

Closing arguments on Monday came after just six days of testimony, which included another woman who accused Mr Cosby of sexually assaulting her in a similar manner and Ms Constand's mother.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The high-profile trial is taking place in Norristown, a suburb of Philadelphia

Defence lawyers for Mr Cosby rested their case after presenting a single witness.

Detective Richard Schaffer appeared for just six minutes on the defence's behalf, in which he told a jury that Ms Constand had visited Mr Cosby at an out-of-state casino.

Mr Cosby's lawyers argue that Ms Constand's account changed several times and that she hid her romantic relationship with the comedian when reporting the incident a year later.

But Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele insists Mr Cosby was a sexual predator who altered the story to make it appear that the two were involved in a relationship.