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Thread: Update On The Bill Cosby Rape Trial, Opening Monday

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Update On The Bill Cosby Rape Trial, Opening Monday

    Bill Cosby will be in the fight of his life when his sexual-assault trial opens Monday, but some crucial battles have already been waged in a series of hearings that determined what evidence jurors will hear and what they will not.

    In broad strokes, the judge admitted documents and testimony that are focused on the 2004 encounter between Cosby and accuser Andrea Constand, while he banned much of the evidence that related to Cosby's sexual contacts with other women, with some important exceptions.

    "It's a mixed bag," said Wes Oliver, the criminal justice program director at Duquesne University.

    Cosby, 79, is charged with drugging and molesting Constand at his Pennsylvania home the only criminal case stemming from dozens of accusations of misconduct that piled up over the last two years. The TV superstar denies any wrongdoing.

    Prosecutors were anxious to bring in details of the other women to prove a pattern of behavior, and the defense wanted to keep out as much evidence as possible. Over the last year, Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill has sorted through a mountain of motions and weighed in on the legal issues:

    The Other Women

    Prosecutors wanted to put on the stand 13 other women who claim they were given an intoxicant and then abused, saying it would show the alleged attack on Constand was part of a pattern what the district attorney explosively branded "a lifetime of sexual assault."

    Cosby's lawyers argued ferociously against it, raising questions about the women's memories and mental states as they insisted a parade of accusers would prejudice the jurors against their client.

    Decision: The judge ruled only one of the 13 women, known as Victim No. 6, can testify. A onetime assistant to Cosby's longtime agent, she claims that during a lunch meeting about her career n 1976, the comedian gave her a white pill and that she woke up next to him in bed.

    Although Cosby was hoping to keep all the women out of the case, the defense could still declare victory. "With any he-said-she-said case, the more people who come forward and tell the same story, the better the prosecution's case," Oliver said. "Cosby versus two women is a better defense scenario than Cosby versus 13."

    The Phone Call

    Team Cosby tried to get the judge to quash the recording of a January 2005 phone call between Cosby and Andrea Constand's mother in which she asked what kind of drug he gave her daughter and he offered to pay for her schooling.

    The defense argued that because Cosby had not consented to being taped, the recording was illegal and should be kept out of the trial. But prosecutors noted that Cosby later admitted he suspected he was being recorded and kept talking.

    "I don't trust anybody," he explained during a deposition.

    Decision: The judge ruled that because Gianna Constand was in Canada, which allows calls to be taped with the consent of just one party, the jury can hear the recording.

    Cosby undoubtedly does not want jurors to think he was trying to pay off Constand. However, Oliver notes that the defense can argue it's no admission of guilt, that he was just trying to protect his reputation or help out a friend. And, he said, the judge's ruling on this issue could be grounds for appeal down the road.

    The Lawsuit

    After Pennsylvania prosecutors decided in 2005 not to charge Cosby, Constand filed a civil suit against him which was settled a year later for an undisclosed sum. The defense wanted the judge to exclude any evidence regarding the settlement, and the prosecution asked that any reference to the suit be kept out of the trial.

    Decision: The judge granted both motions; there will be no mention of the lawsuit or the settlement.

    This is a wash for both sides. Jurors could have seen the lawsuit as a sign that Constand was after money and the settlement as an admission of wrongdoing by Cosby.

    The Deposition

    As part of the 2005 lawsuit filed by Constand, Cosby was questioned under oath and transcripts were unsealed in 2015.

    The deposition was wide-ranging and included Cosby testifying that he gave Constand three Benadryl pills to relax and a cringe-inducing description of of their sexual encounter. "I don't hear her say anything. And I don't feel her say anything," he said. "And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped."

    The questioning also covered Cosby's sexual contacts with other women, including some who have accused him of abuse; money he has paid to women; and his practice in the 1970s of giving women Quaaludes before sex.

    Decision: In a blow to the defense, the judge ruled in December that the deposition is admissible, but he then followed up with some rulings on specific sections. Out: references to sexual contacts with other women, money paid to women or allegations by other women. In: Cosby's comments about Quaaludes.

    Oliver said how the jury reacts to Cosby's words could hinge on what they've heard about the case and how they feel about him.

    "It's fairly difficult for a person to describe a sexual encounter with another person in any official setting that doesn't somehow seem inappropriate," he said. "Will the jury sit there and think, 'How would I describe sex with my wife in a deposition? Wouldn't that be awkward?' Or will they go, 'Ewwww, what a creepy guy.'"

    As for the Quaaludes, on the one hand they back up the contention by Constand and Victim No. 6 that Cosby gives drugs to women for sexual purposes. On the other, Oliver said, "in the 1970s, people were actually using Quaaludes to enhance the sexual experience."

    The 'Spanish Fly' Story

    In one of their last motions, prosecutors told the judge they wanted to use excerpts from a book and an interview in which Cosby told a story about using the purported aphrodisiac on a romantic interest as a adolescent.

    Calling it a "date rape" drug, they said it was more proof that Cosby relied on substances for sexual conquests. Cosby's lawyers said the stories were meant to be humorous and couldn't be considered evidence.

    Decision: The judge ruled the jury won't hear about Spanish Fly. Anyone else can hear Cosby talk about it during this standup routine.
    Cosby Case: Pretrial Rulings Decided What Jury Will and Won't Hear - NBC News

    This case is like mini-primer on the laws of evidence! Good grief.

    I wonder why there was no rulings as to Camilla Cosby's testimony or the use of her deposition transcript?

    Do you think the judge ruled correctly on all these motions?

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    Official HayJenn fan boi knight's Avatar
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    I'll say what I've said all along, nail the motherfucker to the wall. I always liked Cosby, but this is some sick shit that he did to these women. I am extremely disappointed in Bill Cosby. I thought he was a good guy, but he's walking shit. If he does time, good riddance.

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knight View Post
    I'll say what I've said all along, nail the motherfucker to the wall. I always liked Cosby, but this is some sick shit that he did to these women. I am extremely disappointed in Bill Cosby. I thought he was a good guy, but he's walking shit. If he does time, good riddance.
    So, are you all past innocent until proven guilty?

    I am still troubled by the possibility that these women played "Simon says". I want some corroborating evidence that these events occurred.

    If the drug-taking was knowing and consensual -- not slipping something in her drink when she wasn't looking -- I think that could imply consent to have sex.

    I'm not sure.
    Last edited by Madeline; 4th June 2017 at 12:54 AM.

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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    This case is like mini-primer on the laws of evidence!
    Actually, I'd say these were mostly issues requiring some sophistication in the rules of evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    I wonder why there was no rulings as to Camilla Cosby's testimony or the use of her deposition transcript?
    Were any motions made?

    I suspect these will be left out as violating spousal privilege, which has multiple dimensions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Do you think the judge ruled correctly on all these motions?
    I do.
    Thanks from Madeline

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    Official HayJenn fan boi knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    So, are you all past innocent until proven guilty?

    I am still troubled by the possibility that these women played "Simon says". I want some corroborating evidence that these events occurred.

    If the drug-taking was knowing and consensual -- not slipping something in her drink when she wasn't looking -- I think that could imply consent to have sex.

    I'm not sure.
    I would think it's not possible to consent to be being raped; if it's consentual, it by definition isn't rape. These women were unconscious and he had his way with them. That's rape.

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    Veteran Member EnigmaO01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Cosby Case: Pretrial Rulings Decided What Jury Will and Won't Hear - NBC News

    This case is like mini-primer on the laws of evidence! Good grief.

    I wonder why there was no rulings as to Camilla Cosby's testimony or the use of her deposition transcript?

    Do you think the judge ruled correctly on all these motions?
    So that will be on cable news 24/7 now? Thank God I'll be on vaca soon!
    Thanks from Madeline

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knight View Post
    I would think it's not possible to consent to be being raped; if it's consentual, it by definition isn't rape. These women were unconscious and he had his way with them. That's rape.
    Not exactly. If they consented to be rendered umconscious, it may not have been.

    Ever see a movie called "Valley of the Dolls"? Qualudes were everywhere, in the 1960's and 1970's. And we all knew what they did.

    There are/were other drugs that cause unconsciousness. Nixtious oxide, for one.

    All of them extremely popular enhancements to outre' sex, like orgies.

    Studio 54? Plato's Retreat? The Black Rose?

    Many hetero and gay people of a certain age/class/locale were extreme, in sexual behaviors.

    AIDS changed that.

    None of this crap is shit I ever did, but half the people I knew IRL under 40 certainly did.

    (I was stupid in other ways, but not this one.)
    Last edited by Madeline; 4th June 2017 at 07:33 PM.

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    Veteran Member Michael J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Cosby Case: Pretrial Rulings Decided What Jury Will and Won't Hear - NBC News

    This case is like mini-primer on the laws of evidence! Good grief.

    I wonder why there was no rulings as to Camilla Cosby's testimony or the use of her deposition transcript?

    Do you think the judge ruled correctly on all these motions?
    I laughed my head off at that South Park episode with Cosby back in 2014. HAPPY HOLOGRAMS!

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    Mad Genius For Hire Puzzling Evidence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knight View Post
    I would think it's not possible to consent to be being raped; if it's consentual, it by definition isn't rape. These women were unconscious and he had his way with them. That's rape.
    If a woman comes to my house and she gets drunk and passes out. I cannot touch her sexually or I will break the law. This is true in every state.
    Thanks from knight and Friday13

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    Official HayJenn fan boi knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puzzling Evidence View Post
    If a woman comes to my house and she gets drunk and passes out. I cannot touch her sexually or I will break the law. This is true in every state.
    Absolutely. Cosby should be jailed, I just hope his celebrity status doesn't stand in the way of that...he needs to pay, and not just with his wallet.
    Thanks from Puzzling Evidence and Friday13

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