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Bill Cosby trial: Judge declares mistrial after jury fails to reach verdict

18 Juin 2017

Bill Cosby's lawyer repeatedly demanded a mistrial in his sex assault trial as five days of deliberations on the fate of the man once known as America's Dad pushed into Father's Day weekend, but the judge said there was no precedent to shut down the jury's talks.

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., on June 9.

Andy Lassner, executive producer of The Ellen Show, wrote " I BELIEVE YOU" to the women accusing Cosby of sexual assault. The comedian stepped down from the Philadelphia university's board of trustees in 2014 as accusations of sexual assault continued, but the school still has a $3,000 scholarship in his name, given to rising juniors majoring in the natural sciences, according to the school's website. He asked Judge O'Neill to declare a mistrial on six different occasions. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said he would retry the case. "He didn't know we were seeds", she said. The evidence that he drugged her, or any woman, could not be proven based on the unverified evidence presented by Steele.

Despite the pending lawsuits, Bill Cosby plans to go back to comedy.

Constand was one of dozens of women who accused Cosby of sexual assault over a decades-long time period, but hers has been the only one to result in a criminal trial. In Cosby's case, that could have involved the more than 60 other women who have accused him of assaults dating to the 1960s.

Troiani acknowledged the difficulty of the case, given the passage of time and the impact of the alleged drugging on Constand's ability to recall details.

Cosby's team immediately went on the attack. "Heinously and exploitively ambitious", she states.

No matter how many times a judge reminds a jury that under American law a defendant does not have to testify and does not have to put up a defense (because the burden of proof is all on the prosecution), it's hard for laypeople - i.e. jurors - to not think. hmmmn. when it happens.

The judge said he saw no evidence of coercion or trouble in the deliberating room after the jurors reported their impasse on Thursday and he instructed them to keep trying for a verdict. But in statements following the announcement, Cosby's accusers reacted to the mistrial with disappointment, but they were not without a sense of determination and hope. "It has been restored".

For those of us who grew up on Cosby, Fat Albert, "The Cosby Show" and his Jell-O commercials, it's bracing. He still faces several civil lawsuits from at least 10 accusers.

Then from 1984 to 1992, he portrayed Huxtable, the affable, amusing dad of an upper middle-class black family with a lawyer wife in "The Cosby Show" - so named thanks to the actor's overwhelming star power.

The 44-year-old Constand, however, testified during the trial that the pills Cosby gave her at his home outside Philadelphia in 2004 left her powerless to fight off his advances. Prosecutors have suggested he gave her something stronger, possibly quaaludes. They spent days asking to have testimony read back, including Constand's testimony at trial as well as the first report she made to police in 2005.

On Saturday morning, they said it was hopeless and the judge accepted a defense motion for a mistrial.

"That doesn't add up", Doris Robbins, 46, told me, as she protested outside the courthouse nearly every day of the trial.

Cosby had been charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand: penetration while she was unconscious, penetration without her consent, and penetration after intoxicating her without her knowledge. How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? Unlike others, Constand's case was not precluded by statutes of limitations.

"She will absolutely come back again", she said.