Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case ends in a mistrial
Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage via Getty Images(NORRISTOWN, Pa.) — Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case has ended in a mistrial.
After six days of deliberation, the seven men and five women selected to serve on the jury were unable to render a unanimous verdict on any of the three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault with which Cosby had been charged.
The comedian pleaded not guilty.
Kevin R. Steel, the district attorney from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, who brought the charges, said shortly after the mistrial was announced that he will retry the case.
“We will evaluate and review our case, take a hard look at everything involved and we will retry it,” he said during a press conference. “Our plan is to move this case forward as soon as possible.”
Steel later added that “the judge has made some indications in court that he is looking to put this on track within 120 days. Legally we have 365 days to try the case.”
While walking out of the courthouse Saturday, Cosby’s spokesperson Andrew Wyatt praised what happened Saturday, adding that “Mr. Cosby’s power is back. It’s back. It has been restored.”
“And for all those attorneys who conspired, like Gloria Allred,'” he added, referencing the attorney who is not Constand’s principal attorney, but is representing many of Cosby’s accusers, “tell them to go back to law school and take another class.”
Allred also addressed the media after the mistrial was declared.
“It’s too early to celebrate Mr. Cosby,” she warned. “Round two may be just around the corner and this time justice may prevail.”
Lawyers for Constand released their own statement Saturday afternoon, thanking the district attorney’s office and “the many police officers and detectives who worked on this case.” The statement also thanked the “jury for their tireless efforts and acknowledge their sacrifice.”
“From the moment she revealed what had happened to her, Andrea sought to have this matter addressed in the criminal justice system,” the statement continued in part. “Given the manner in which she was dismissed by the previous district attorney, she had no option but to file a civil suit. We are confident that these proceedings have given a voice to the many victims who felt powerless and silenced.”
During the weeklong trial, Cosby, 79, never took the stand. However, excerpts from his 2005 to 2006 depositions in a civil suit brought on by Constand were read aloud.
The defense called only one witness — a detective — to the stand, while Constand, her mother, another accuser Kelly Johnson and others testified last week for the prosecution.
Cosby’s wife, Camille Cosby, attended the trial for the first time on Monday.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele closed the prosecution’s case on Monday by describing Cosby as a calculating sexual predator, who not only drugged and assaulted Constand in 2004, but also recast the attack as consensual and romantic.
Cosby’s attorney Brian McMonagle delivered a dramatic closing argument, highlighting Constand’s inconsistencies and those of Johnson.
Constand, 44, testified for seven hours over the course of two days last week, telling the jury that in 2004, Cosby gave her a drug at his home in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, that rendered her unable to stop his alleged assaults.
“In my head I was trying to get my hands to move or my legs to move, but I was frozen and those [mental] messages didn’t get there and I was very limp, so I wasn’t able to fight him,” she said. “I wanted it to stop.”
According to portions of Cosby’s deposition, he gave Constand Benadryl to “relax” her during a consensual sexual encounter. “I wanted her to be comfortable and relaxed and be able to go to sleep after our necking session,” he said.
The jury also heard quotes from Cosby’s deposition about his use of Quaaludes in the 1970s. Cosby admitted to obtaining the prescription sedative to give to multiple women with whom he wanted to have sex, and said that he didn’t take the drug himself. He admitted to giving Quaaludes to one woman he met backstage in Las Vegas, and then having sex.
Cosby has denied any wrongdoing in other accusations.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect Cosby’s deposition in the Andrea Constand civil suit in which he did admit to giving Quaaludes to one woman in Las Vegas and then having sex.
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