June 28, 2017

Bill Cosby trial: Why judge told deadlocked jury to keep deliberating

16 June 2017, 05:38 | Darrel Baker

Judge Steve O'Neill ordered them back into their chamber to continue.

Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial, Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Norristown, Pa. Instead, the judge demanded that the jury work on the deadlock and reach its conclusive verdict.

Judge O'Neill rejected a motion from Cosby's lawyers for a mistrial on Thursday morning.

After deliberating for four days and rereading and hearing testimony, the jury has been unable to come to a conclusion.

In addition, Constand initially told police that she had not been alone with Cosby prior to the alleged assault and that they had little contact after.

Op-Ed: I'm one of Bill Cosby's accusers.

As the deliberations dragged on, the scene outside the courthouse was one of prolonged boredom that was occasionally shattered by camera-wielding news crews swarming demonstrators and hurrying to the now-standard impromptu press conference.

They are what is called a sequestered jury, meaning its access to communications and media is strictly monitored.

As the jury in Bill Cosby's trial remains deadlocked, Lili Bernard, one of the dozens of women who has accused him of drugging and raping her, got into an emotional confrontation with his supporters outside the courthouse. In those interviews, Cosby admitted to sexual contact with Constand and said they had previously had a romantic encounter.

And they had heard suggestions from Cosby's defense team that probably these women slept with Cosby consensually, and are pretending he assaulted them for fame and money. We ask what that means for both Cosby and Andrea Constand.

The trial marks a crushing fall from grace for an entertainer known for his seminal role as a lovable father and obstetrician on hit TV series "The Cosby Show". In his decade-old depositions, Cosby said he gave Constand Benadryl, a common allergy drug whose side effects can include drowsiness. The prosecution spent five days presenting evidence from Constand herself as well as expert witnesses, while the defense took just over six minutes to argue that Constand had consented to a relationship. Should he be convicted on all of the charges, the 79-year-old comedian and creator of the iconic 80s sitcom "The Cosby Show" faces 30 years in jail. Cosby's publicist came outside and declared the deadlock a "victory", while others cautioned that the outcome of the trial is still far from clear.

Jurors who have appeared stressed and even angry seemed more upbeat than on previous nights, despite enduring another marathon session in a case that has already helped torpedo Cosby's career and nice-guy reputation. Cosby was once an A-list celebrity who starred in T.V. Shows, made movies and was a top rated comic. Cosby is charged with sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in suburban Philadelphia in 2004.

This news organization does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

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