Judge Declares Mistrial in Bill Cosby Sexual-Assault Case

Jury said it was deadlocked on the sixth day of deliberations

#BREAKING Judge declares mistrial in Bill Cosby's sexual assault case  https://t.co/cp8WeFgzz4

Updated June 17, 2017 11:22 a.m. ET

A judge declared a mistrial in the Bill Cosby sexual-assault trial Saturday morning after a jury outside Philadelphia failed to reach a verdict in the case on the sixth day of deliberations.

The jury of seven men and five women, who had been selected in Pittsburgh and bused 300 miles to Montgomery County Court in Norristown, Pa., to hear the case, told Judge Steven O’Neill that they were hopelessly deadlocked.



© AFP / by Thomas URBAIN | Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 17, 2017

The judge presiding over the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial declared a mistrial Saturday after jurors reported being hopelessly deadlocked.

The exhausted jurors had been deliberating since Monday, sometimes for as much as 12 hours a day.

Prosecutors said they would retry Cosby, who remains charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

The jury had deliberated for six days.

The decision denied a measure of vindication either to Cosby or to the dozens of women who have accused him of assaulting them.

In their sixth day of deliberations, jurors sent word to Judge Steve T. O’Neill that they could not reach a unanimous verdict on the charges that in 2004, Cosby, one of the world’s best-known entertainers, drugged and assaulted Andrea Constand in his home near here.

The hung jury means that the Montgomery County District Attorney, Kevin R. Steele, must decide whether to retry the case. Once again, he will have to balance the fact that dozens of women who have leveled similar accusations at Cosby had looked to this case as likely the only chance to hold him criminally responsible, against the value of pursuing a 79-year-old defendant who is fighting blindness, whose career and reputation are in tatters, and for whom a prison term could amount to a life sentence.

The case turned largely on the credibility of Constand, a former Temple University employee. She testified that the assault occurred in a visit to the home of Cosby, who was a Temple trustee, when she was 30 and he was 66. She said that Cosby gave her pills that he said were herbal, but that left her immobile and drifting in and out of consciousness. He has said that he only gave her Benadryl.

“I was jolted awake and I felt Mr. Cosby’s hand groping my breasts under my shirt,” she testified last week. “I also felt his hand inside my vagina moving in and out, and I felt him take my hand and place it on his penis and move it back and forth.”

Cosby was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault — penetration with lack of consent, penetration while unconscious, and penetration after administering an intoxicant without the subject’s knowledge. Each is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison, though the sentences could be served concurrently.

The jury of 12 was composed of six white men, four white women, one black woman and one black man. They had reported being deadlocked on Thursday but then had resumed deliberations at the request of the judge. As it turned out the deliberations ended up taking longer than the presentation of evidence had.

In recent years, Cosby, 79, had admitted to decades of philandering, and to giving qualudes to women to induce them to have sex, smashing the image he had built as a moralizing public figure and the upstanding paterfamilias in the wildly popular 1980s and ‘90s sitcom “The Cosby Show.”

He did not testify in his own defense.

The mistrial leaves in limbo a large slice of American popular culture from Cosby’s six-decade career as a comedian and actor. For the last few years, his TV shows, films and recorded stand-up performances, one-time broadcast staples, have been considered too toxic to touch, and with the mistrial, they are likely to remain so.



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One Response to “Judge Declares Mistrial in Bill Cosby Sexual-Assault Case”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

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