Lawyers trade barbs in closing arguments of Cosby trial

Lawyers trade barbs in closing arguments of Cosby trial

April 24 (UPI) — Lawyers representing Bill Cosby called the actor’s accuser a “pathological liar” while prosecutors said he used his image as “America’s dad” to prey on women during closing arguments Tuesday.

Kathleen Bliss urged the jury of seven men and five women to acquit Cosby in “one of the most important decisions” they will have to make in their lives. She referenced recent allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against Hollywood figures, saying there must be proof for a conviction.

“We do have to deal with sexual assault … just like we have to deal with sexual harassment, just like we have to deal with pay disparity, just like we have to deal with social inequalities,” Bliss said. “But questioning an accuser is not shaming a victim. Gut feelings are not rational decisions. Mob rule is not due process.

“I could say Mr. Steele sexually assaulted me last year. It’s my word against his word,” she added referencing Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele. “But it’s preposterous.”

The two-week trial is the second Cosby has faced on accusations by Andrea Constand, who said the actor drugged and sexually assaulted her at his Pennsylvania home. Constand was the women’s basketball team manager at Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University.

The first trial in 2017 ended in a mistrial due to a deadlocked jury. Cosby pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Another Cosby lawyer, Tom Mesereau, also gave closing arguments attempting to discredit Constand and the five other accusers who were witnesses during the trial. He called Constand a “pathological liar” and the witnesses “failed starlets.”

“This woman will say anything, she will absolutely say anything,” he said of Constand.

Montgomery County prosecutor Kristen Feden chastised Cosby for smiling during her closing remarks, telling the jurors, “he’s laughing like it’s funny.”

“This man is nothing like the image he played on TV,” she said while pointing at the actor. “He is nothing like ‘America’s Dad.’”

Feden said Cosby used that image to “gain the confidences of these young, aspiring, trusting women so he could sexually assault them.”