Jury to continue deliberations in Bill Cosby sexual assault trial

Carla Harmon
June 17, 2017

He expressed disappointment over the mistrial, praised the "extraordinary sacrifices' of the jury and said a "good outcome" of the trial was that two Cosby accusers "got to face the defendant in court".

Bill Cosby left the Montgomery County Courthouse Saturday with his legal fate still in limbo. This was the only case to result in criminal charges against the star.

Less than 48 hours later, and working into the weekend on a Saturday - the 11th day of the trial - the panel informed the judge that they were still deadlocked on all three counts against Cosby. Still, that would represent a major win for Cosby's team, which has argued the case never should have reached court.

The BBC's Aleem Maqbool, inside the courthouse, said Mr Cosby was expressionless when the decision was announced. Following the mistrial, she said she will continue to work on a civil suit against Cosby.

The district attorney at the time declined to press charges, citing insufficient evidence.

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 authorised in such cases under the law.

Cosby presented himself as a sort of moral leader and advocate for responsibility: His controversial "pound cake" speech excoriated poor black Americans for what he described as ignorance and poor parenting. He remained stoic as the judge declared a mistrial, while Constand doled out hugs to her mother, prosecutors and some of the other women who say the TV star drugged and abused them. In 2000, a woman accused Cosby of groping her. He said Constand "is entitled to a verdict in this case and the citizens of Montgomery County, where this crime occurred, are entitled to a verdict in this case".

Cosby, in a sitdown flanked by lawyers at a New York City office, said during the 2005 investigation that the sex had been consensual. Constand, 44, testified last week that Cosby gave her three blue pills and then penetrated her with his fingers against her will as she lay paralyzed and half-conscious. The judge has refused, saying jurors are permitted under the law to deliberate as long as they want. The jurors first told O'Neill they were deadlocked on Thursday after 30 hours of deliberations that started Monday.

O'Neill reminded the seven men and five women it was their duty to deliberate "with a view to reaching agreement, if it can be done without violence to your individual judgment". It wasn't immediately known how many jurors wanted to convict and how many wanted to acquit. How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom.' Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby. He said the mistrial is "neither vindication nor victory".

More than 50 women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Cosby, but Constand is the only woman whose accusations have led to a criminal trial.

Defense lawyer Brian McMonagle, however, attacked what he said were inconsistencies in Constand's story, disputed that Constand was incapacitated, and made the case that she and Cosby, who was married, had a romantic relationship.

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