Judge Declares Mistrial in Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Case

by Jessica Goldstein –

The hung jury deliberated for over 50 hours.

The prosecution presented its case in four-and-a-half days. The defense took all of six minutes. The criminal trial of Bill Cosby, a once universally-beloved pop cultural icon now accused by nearly 60 women of sexual misconduct, came to a close on Monday afternoon. Then the jury began to deliberate.

Fifty-two hours later, the jury could not reach a verdict. Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial.

Andrea Constandt alleges Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home in 2004. Cosby was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault; if convicted, he could face up to ten years in prison.

But after days of deliberations, during which the jury asked O’Neill a dozen questions and had several lengthy police interviews, depositions, and witness testimonies reread back to them — including the entirety of Constandt’s testimony regarding the alleged assault, which was 300 pages long — the jury remained deadlocked on all counts.

District attorney Kevin Steele, who made the charging of Cosby a campaign promise when he ran for the office he now holds, immediately announced that he would retry Cosby.

The defense had been pressing for a mistrial for days, but O’Neill initially rejected these requests, sending the jury back to deliberations in the hopes they could reach a verdict.

Cosby, 79, pleaded not guilty and has denied all the allegations against him, both in the court of law and the court of public opinion. Today, he can walk out of the Montgomery County Courthouse a free man.

 

Reprinted with permission from Think Progress