Bill Cosby‘s trial for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand has finally come to a close, with just the jury left to deliberate the comedian’s fate. If you haven’t been following the case–or the thirteen years of convoluted backstory seems a little much–here are the basics of the case and what happened in the trial over the past week.
Although there have been almost 60 sexual assault allegations made against Cosby in the past few years, the statute of limitations has run out on almost all of them (meaning too much time has passed since the event to charge him).
Andrea Constand filed a civil suit against Cosby in 2005, alleging that he had drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home when she was there for career advice in January 2004. They reached an undisclosed settlement at the time, and the case seemed to go away for more than ten years. Then in 2015, a judge unsealed the deposition given by Cosby in that case, where he admitted to obtaining Quaaludes and giving them to at least one woman with whom he wished to have sex. Although he claims that his relations with Constand were consensual, it was that revelation that resulted in a criminal charge, bringing us to the trial at hand.
1. Meet Andrea Constand
Andrea Constand is a former college and Canadian national team basketball player. She was working as the director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University (Cosby’s alma mater) when the alleged assault occurred. She has described her relationship with Cosby prior to that as a ‘sincere friendship’ with a ‘mentor.’ She was also in a romantic relationship with a woman at the time.
After the assault, she returned to her parents’ home in Toronto and, according to her mother, suffered from depression, nightmares, sleeplessness, anxiety and isolation.
2. Cosby brought his TV daughter and real-life wife
On the first day of the trial, Cosby arrived at the courthouse with his TV-daughter, Keshia Knight Pulliam, on his arm. Was this an attempt as swaying people to sympathy? A try at salvaging what’s left of his decimated reputation? Possibly.
Then on the last day of the trial, Cosby arrived at the courthouse with his wife, Camille, who had been notably absent from the public spotlight since the allegations. This appearance was significant, because a missing spouse gets people talking during a case like this. And finally, on Monday, Cosby looked to have the love and support of his smiling wife. But we’re still wondering: why only on the last day?
3. The Defense only called one witness
The prosecution spent the majority of last week presenting an elaborate case against Cosby. They called 12 witnesses, including two other Cosby accusers and Constand herself who told her story publicly for the first time.
The Defense’s case was much briefer, requiring only one day and calling one witness. That witness was the detective who led the 2005 investigation into claims that Cosby drugged and molested women in his home. He was asked if he was aware of Cosby’s vision problems at the time.
A second witness–a woman who worked with Constand at Temple University–was called by the defense to testify but was rejected by the presiding judge.
4. Cosby himself refused to testify
Despite suggestions from his spokesperson that he might take the stand, Cosby did not testify during the trial. Cosby’s 2005 deposition, however–wherein he admitted to sexual relations with some of his accusers and using Quaaludes on at least one woman–was read before the court. His defense relied mostly on attempting to discredit Constand and the other two victims the prosecution brought to the stand.
5. It’s in the hands of the jury
By some miracle, the state of Pennsylvania was able to find 12 people who didn’t have any prior knowledge of the Cosby case to act as jurors. The jury consists of five women and seven men. They were sent to deliberate after closing statements were made Monday and are expected to come to, and reveal, a verdict at some point Tuesday. Tuesday morning, they returned to the courthouse and requested the judge reread part of Cosby’s 2005 deposition. Unlike in that civil case, this criminal one could land Cosby in jail for up to 30 years. Likely for the rest of his life. The verdict should be revealed at some point today.