Defense: Schedules show Cosby wasn’t around for assault
Norristown, Pa. – Jurors got a look at Bill Cosby’s travel records on Friday as his lawyers made the case that he never visited his suburban Philadelphia mansion in the month he’s accused of drugging and molesting a woman there.
Cosby’s lawyers say the alleged assault on Andrea Constand couldn’t have happened in January 2004, when she says the famed comedian knocked her out with pills and violated her. The date is important because Cosby wasn’t charged until December 2015, just before the 12-year statute of limitations was set to expire.
The defense produced logs for Cosby’s private jet flights as well as several days’ worth of schedules listing his whereabouts and media appearances. The schedules do not indicate what Cosby was doing during his personal time.
Debbie Meister, his personal assistant, testified the flights on Cosby’s Gulfstream IV – dubbed “Camille” after his wife of more than 50 years – coincided with comedy performances and other events on Cosby’s schedule.
None of the records showed him flying in and out of Philadelphia-area airports from December 2003 to February 2004.
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said outside court that the records “connect the dots” that the comedian wasn’t around Philadelphia at that time.
Cosby, 80, is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He says his sexual encounter with Constand was consensual.
Earlier Friday, Cosby’s lawyers told the judge they want jurors to hear from Constand’s confidante before deliberations get underway next week, but said she’s been unreachable.
The defense asked for permission to read parts of Sheri Williams’ deposition into the record just as prosecutors did with Cosby’s old testimony. Williams gave the deposition as part of Constand’s 2005 lawsuit against Cosby, who wound up settling for nearly $3.4 million.
Judge Steven O’Neill appeared skeptical of the defense request, saying he wants to hear from a witness who can show the defense has made a reasonable effort to serve Williams with a subpoena to testify in person. O’Neill put off a ruling until Monday.
Constand testified at Cosby’s first trial last year that she and Williams were good friends and would speak “at all hours of the day: morning, noon, and night.” She said they were in touch as she went to police in January 2005 with allegations he drugged and molested her about a year earlier.
Cosby’s lawyers said they expected Williams’ testimony to refute Constand’s claims that she was unaware he was romantically interested in her. And they said the testimony would show that Constand “could not have been the unwitting victim” prosecutors have portrayed.
Constand testified at the trial that Cosby had never expressed any romantic interest, though she called the passes he made at her before the alleged assault – touching her thigh and trying to unbutton her pants – “a little bit absurd.”
“Mr. Cosby was just a little bit younger than my grandfather. He was a married man and I absolutely showed no interest in him. But I wasn’t threatened and I didn’t judge him,” she testified.
Cosby testified in his own deposition – also given as part of Constand’s lawsuit – that he had a romantic relationship with her.
Two weeks in, Cosby’s trial on three counts of aggravated indecent assault is rapidly winding down.
O’Neill told jurors Thursday that there are only a few more days of testimony. Cosby lawyer Tom Mesereau went into the case predicting it would last about a month.
A pair of drug experts – one for the prosecution and one for the defense – spent Thursday debating the identity of the drug he gave Constand on the night she says he molested her.
Cosby has insisted he handed 1½ tablets of over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine Benadryl to Constand to help her relax before their sexual encounter at his mansion outside Philadelphia. Constand testified he gave her three small blue pills that left her incapacitated and unable to resist as he molested her.
Williams’ deposition testimony, which has been under seal, could provide insights into what led Constand to accuse Cosby and whether the encounter was a factor in her leaving her job a few months later as the director of women’s basketball operations at Temple University.
A private investigator working for the defense said he attempted to serve Williams at least six times at her North Carolina home before sending her a FedEx package containing a subpoena and instructions to call Cosby’s legal team.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.