The answer to that question could come as soon as Monday
morning, when the comedian's lawyers begin presenting his
defense at his sexual assault trial in Pennsylvania.
Cosby told a radio interviewer weeks before the trial that he
did not plan to testify in his defense. But his spokesman,
Andrew Wyatt, told reporters on Friday that "nothing is off the
Cosby, 79, faces charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted
Andrea Constand, a former employee at his alma mater, Temple
University, at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004.
Dozens of women have made similar accusations against Cosby
stretching back to the 1960s, although only Constand has accused
him of a crime that allegedly took place recently enough to
allow for prosecution.
Constand and another accuser, Kelly Johnson, told jurors last
week in sometimes emotional testimony that Cosby gave them pills
he said would help them "relax." Both women said the medicine
left them incapacitated, allowing him to assault them sexually.
Cosby is not charged with abusing Johnson, but prosecutors
called her to the stand in an effort to persuade the jury that
he employed a familiar pattern when he allegedly assaulted
Constand. Prosecutors have said that Cosby in both cases took
advantage of a young woman seeking career advice and used drugs
to facilitate sex abuse.
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Defense lawyers have sought to undermine the credibility of the
women, pointing to discrepancies in their accounts, such as their
shifting estimates of when the events in question occurred.
Cosby's lawyers have pointed to dozens of phone calls that Constand
made to Cosby after the incident, as well as prior instances in
which they had private encounters at his home or at a casino hotel,
suggesting Constand was pursuing a romantic relationship.
They have also focused on phone records showing Constand called
several civil lawyers at the same time she first reported the
alleged assault to police in 2005, and argued Constand manufactured
the story to go after Cosby's fortune.
A decision to allow Cosby to testify could signal the defense feels
it did not do enough damage to Constand's story during the
Putting the entertainer on the stand carries its own risks. The
judge could allow prosecutors to rebut Cosby's testimony by
introducing evidence of the allegations against him made by about 60
other female accusers.
(Editing by Frank McGurty and Peter Cooney)
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