Cosby won't testify, defense rests in sex assault trial

Monday June 12 2017

US comedian Bill Cosby

US comedian Bill Cosby 

Norristown. Disgraced US comedian Bill Cosby confirmed in court Monday that he would not testify at his sexual assault trial as the defense called just one witness before resting their case.

In one of America's biggest celebrity trials in years, the 79-year-old pioneering black comedian faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, which each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

"You have decided not to testify in this case, correct?" Judge Steven O'Neill asked the television star, once loved by millions as "America's Dad" for his role on hit sitcom "The Cosby Show."

"Yes," replied the defendant, who on Monday was accompanied by his wife of 53 years, Camille, for the first time in court.

"Is it your decision not to testify?" asked the judge. 

"Yes," replied the defendant.

Around 60 women have publicly accused the Emmy-winning comedian of being a serial sexual predator in remarkably similar accusations that span four decades, ending his career and shredding his reputation.

But his fate rests on the allegations of just one, 44-year-old Andrea Constand, who alleges that he drugged and sexually assaulted her at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.

The defense called just one witness to the stand, Richard Schaeffer, one of the policemen who took down Constand's original statement.

Schaeffer appeared on the stand for only a few minutes, clearing the way to concluding statements from both the defense and the prosecution.

Constand -- who was an employee of Temple University at the time of the alleged assault -- arrived at court with her mother to sit in the public gallery and hear the concluding arguments from both sides. (AFP)