By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)
NORRISTOWN, Pa.—In a powerful closing argument at the Bill Cosby trial, defense attorneys Kathleen Bliss and Tom Mesereau pointed out more than a dozen “lies” in alleged victim Andrea Constand’s statements to police and prosecutors.
Bliss also reminded jurors of past “lynchings,” and “mob-style prosecutions.”
As a woman, Bliss said she could relate well to the #MeToo movement, and she even began telling a personal experience before District Attorney Kevin Steele objected and Judge Steven O’Neill attacked her for the inference.
Perhaps conjuring up memories of his mentor, the late Johnnie Cochran—who famously told jurors “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit” during the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial—Mesereau in very deliberate fashion took the jury through telephone and flight records for every single day in January 2004, when Constand said she was drugged and assaulted by Cosby.
The inference was clear—Constand had claimed that she called Cosby from a Temple University-issued cell phone the night of the incident. She also claimed that it happened before her cousin came to visit from Canada on January 22.
A police detective testified for prosecutors that he pulled Department of Homeland Security records that show the cousin crossed the U.S. border that day. However, Mesereau showed jurors that there was not a single call from Constand to Cosby in Philadelphia in January.
“This was a con. Bill Cosby got conned,” Mesereau said.
Mesereau told jurors that if they reviewed the records and determine that the incident didn’t happen in January, then they must automatically return a not guilty verdict simply, because Pennsylvania’s 12-year statute of limitations would have expired if the incident occurred any time before January 2004.
When asked during a deposition whether Constand had visited his Pennsylvania home in January 2004, Cosby said that date was “ballpark.”
Cosby, 80, faces up to 30 years in prison, if convicted. He’s facing three counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from a 2003 or 2004 encounter between he and Constand.
Still, the hostility toward Bliss in courtroom hasn’t been lost on observers.
“[DA Kevin] Steele and the judge are so nasty toward her and this is supposedly a crime about women,” said Larcenia Best, one of the many spectators who jammed the courtroom for closing arguments. “The crime is how bias and how disrespectful they’ve been toward Bliss and the other female attorneys, especially O’Neill.
During a previous argument made by one of Cosby’s lawyers who appears to be of Middle Eastern-descent, Steele’s media rep Kate Delano and staff members appeared to mock the attorney.
Delano and others openly laughed at an argument made by another female defense lawyer, Becky James.
While Cosby’s wife, Camille, kissed her husband and sat through the defense’s closing arguments, prosecutors brought Constand back for theirs.
They rejected the records presented by the defense even though a Federal Aviation Administration expert authenticated the files. They also said Constand’s inconsistencies should be overlooked, because as a victim, it’s common to get confused by some facts and dates.
Meanwhile, undaunted by what observers have called bullying, Bliss remained calm.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” she told jurors. “You’re about to make one of the most important decisions you’ve ever made in your life. I respectfully say to you that the only decision to make, based on the evidence, is not guilty.”
This article was originally published at BlackPressUSA.com.