Cosby judge declares mistrial as jury deadlocks again

Emmett Rice
June 18, 2017

Bill Cosby speaks with members of the media as he departs from the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., Friday, June 16, 2017.

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Bill Cosby's trial on sexual assault charges ended in a mistrial Saturday after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision in a case that nevertheless helped destroy the 79-year-old comedian's image as "America's Dad".

Some 60 women have come forward to say Cosby sexually violated them, all but destroying his nice-guy image, but the statute of limitations for prosecution had run out in almost every case.

Approximately 60 accusations of sexual assault have been made against Cosby over a number of years, but only Constand's resulted in criminal charges because the other alleged incidents were too old to prosecute. He also dismissed the district attorney's pledge to retry the case.

Jurors deliberated Monday evening until about 9:30 p.m. when the judge sent them home.

The fast-moving case went to the jury of seven men and five women Monday, on day six of the trial, after closing arguments painted different pictures of what happened between Cosby and Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia estate in 2004. Attorney Gloria Allred attributed the outcome to Cosby's celebrity.

Legal experts had always said the he-said, she-said nature of the case was always going to be hard to prove in court, not least because it happened so long ago and due to a lack of physical evidence.

Cosby himself didn't comment. "I also want to thank these supporters who've been here and, please, to the supporters: Stay calm, do not argue with people, just keep up the great support".

Cosby remained stoic, while Constand embraced the person next to her.

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Cosby continued in her statement: "How do I describe many, but not all, general media?"

"Do not in any way feel you have let the justice system down", O'Neill told the jury.

There's no doubt he had sexual contact with Constand (Cosby contends it was consensual). They also asked to hear Cosby's deposition testimony again in which he described how he first met Constand.

But if the man once adored by millions as "America's Dad" escaped conviction Saturday, prosecutor Kevin Steele said that he meant to seek a re-trial as authorized in such cases under the law. McMonagle said Cosby gave her the cold and allergy medicine Benadryl only after she complained she couldn't sleep.

Cosby's wife, Camille Cosby, slammed prosecutors for bringing the case to court.

"Now that there's going to be a new trial, I'm hoping that the court will allow more prior bad act witnesses, more accusers, to be able to testify so that the jury can take into consideration what their allegations are as well", Allred said. Lawyer Brian McMonagle told jurors that while Cosby had been unfaithful to his wife, he didn't commit a crime.

Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said that mistrial shows charges should have never been brought forward. "This is talking to a lover", McMonagle said of one call that lasted 49 minutes.

In the deposition, which was released in 2015 at the request of The Associated Press, Cosby said he obtained several prescriptions for quaaludes in the 1970s and offered the now-banned sedatives to women he wanted to have sex with. If he were convicted, he could face up to a 10 years in prison.

Cosby was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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