Cosby jury deliberations, now longer than trial, stretch into Saturday

Brunilde Fioravanti
Giugno 19, 2017

Bill Cosby walked out of court a free man Saturday - not because he was cleared of sexual assault charges - but because a jury decided that it could not reach a verdict on charges that he drugged and molested a woman at his home outside Philadelphia in early 2004. Constand, who was then an employee of Temple University, Cosby's alma mater, claims the comic gave her drugs that incapacitated her to the degree that she could not stop him from assaulting her.

Meanwhile, the judge has assured that he would try to schedule a new trial within 120 days.

Bill Cosby exits the Montgomery County Courthouse after a mistrial was declared in Norristown, Pa., Saturday, June 17, 2017.

The Bill Cosby jury in his rape case may have been hopelessly deadlocked, leading to a mistrial, but social media have a shorter word for the comedian's wife: hopeless. The Pennsylvanian judge then declared a mistrial.

Cosby was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

"I have no authority to do this", Judge Steven O'Neill said in the 52nd hour of deliberations Friday night. The jurors' decision not to ask to rehear the experts' testimony could be an indication that they accepted their opinions at face value or, conversely, that they were unimpressed.

"Do you agree there is a hopeless deadlock that can not be resolved by further deliberations?" he asked each juror. The comedian's spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, not only criticized the women accusing Cosby of assault (many of the comedian's accusers attended the trial and could be seen crying outside the courthouse today after the announcement was made) but also took a jab at the attorneys looking to prosecute.

In rounding out her statement, Camille Cosby thanked her supporters, including friends, family and staff members, as well as Bill's legal team who she described as hard-working in an attempt to echo "powerful articulations of truth".

Steele said he and prosecutors Kristen Feden and M. Stewart Ryan "will evaluate and review" the case.

Cosby chose not to testify at the trial. He has said the encounter with Constand was consensual.

In addition to proving that Cosby assaulted them, Smolla said, they would have to establish that he said something about them beyond denying the allegations, such as calling them known liars or promiscuous.

Jewel Allison, a New York-based artist, poet and activist who has said Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in the 1980s, hugged Constand in the courtroom after the mistrial announcement.

According to the documents, lawyer Dolores Troiani asked Cosby: "When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?"

The prosecution had rested its case last Friday, and the defense presented a case Monday that lasted just six minutes - in essence telling the jury that prosecutors had failed to prove anything, and that there was little or nothing left for them to rebut. She issued a statement calling District Attorney Kevin Steele "heinously and exploitively ambitious".

Two women jurors looked anguished when they announced the final deadlock, wiping away tears. Goldie Taylor, editor-at-large with The Daily Beast, thanks so much.

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