Both sides to call toxicologists in Cosby sex assault trial

Bill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial Wednesday

Bill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial Wednesday

The chief accuser at Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial talked about framing a celebrity before going to police with her allegations in 2005, a key defense witness testified April 18 as the TV star's lawyers began putting on their case.

Judge Steven O'Neill said he anticipated Cosby's fate would be in the hands of the jury next week.

Prosecutors wound down their case earlier Wednesday, introducing the comedian's explosive testimony about giving quaaludes to women before sex - an old admission that's taken on new significance after a half-dozen women testified earlier in the retrial that he drugged and violated them, too.

On Thursday, jurors were treated to a day of science as opposing toxicologists testified about Benadryl, an antihistamine that Cosby says he gave Constand, and Quaaludes, a 1970s "party drug" that he has testified to obtaining with a view to having sex.

The defence also says there is no evidence to prove the alleged assault happened within the 12-year statute of limitations.

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Prosecutors also unleashed other passages from Cosby's graphic deposition, including his accounts of purported sexual encounters with Constand and how he apologized to her mother a year later for being "a dirty old man with a young girl".

Mr. Cosby's lawyers said in a motion that they had tried repeatedly but failed to get Ms. Williams to testify at the retrial, and so were asking for portions of the deposition to be read instead.

Debbie Meister, his personal assistant, testified that 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.

Prosecutor M. Stewart Ryan, during cross-examination, said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele prosecuted a drug case in 2002 that resulted in the seizure of thousands of illegal Quaaludes. He says quaaludes also have a tendency to make people sleepy.

Cosby settled the lawsuit in 2006 for almost $3.4million (about R40m).

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Constand testified at the trial that Cosby had never expressed any romantic interest, though she called the passes she said he made at her before the alleged assault - touching her thigh and trying to unbutton her trousers - "a little bit absurd".

The questions of what drug Cosby gave Constand and the effects it had are central to the case. Jackson testified that Constand allegedly told her, after admitting that she never filed a police report against the "high-profile person" because she knew she couldn't prove it. While she was on the stand, Jackson admitted that defense attorney Kathleen Bliss, indeed, helped to write her statement about the alleged incident, which included more details about Constand's supposedly wanting money, a detail that wasn't included in the first statement. They got to talking about Cosby after the comedian offered to buy her a drink and promised, "I won't put anything in it", she recalled.

Sequestered jurors got an early start to the weekend as Day 10 of the trial drew to a close shortly after lunch. They're still legal in Canada and parts of Europe, Rohrig said.

The judge changed his mind about Jackson for the retrial, giving the defense case a huge boost.

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The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

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