Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Cosby Judge Declares Mistrial As Jury Remains Deadlocked

Bill Cosby Jury Deadlocked Bill Cosby Jury Deadlocked
Nathaniel Diaz | 18 June, 2017, 01:50

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Bill Cosby, the comedian and actor once known as "America's Dad" for his TV role as paternal Dr. Cliff Huxtable, avoided a conviction on Father's Day weekend as a jury declared itself hopelessly deadlocked on charges he drugged and molested a woman more than a decade ago.

Cosby has been accused of of assaulting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion, an allegation that could have seen the 79-year-old spend the rest of his life in prison.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said prosecutors will "evaluate and review our case" and retry Cosby.

For now, Cosby is free on bail.

In Cosby's case, that could have involved the more than 60 other women who have accused him of assaults dating to the 1960s. They told Judge Steven O'Neill on the fourth day that they could not reach a unanimous verdict.

Jewel Allison, yet another accuser, stated outside the courthouse, as church bells tolled, "I think God is watching all of us", NBC News reported. "We're here because of them", he said, shouting and pointing at the back of the courtroom, where other accusers were sitting.

O'Neill said after the mistrial ruling that he would attempt to set the case to continue within the next 100 days.

But Cosby's spokesman Andrew Wyatt had some words of his own for Gloria Allred.

Cosby's defense lawyers, however, argued that Constand's account could not be trusted after they pointed to numerous discrepancies in her statements to police in 2005, when she first reported the alleged incident almost a year later. She also criticized the judge, the accuser's lawyers and the media.

The mistrial was a blow to the dozens of women who have said they were sexually assaulted by Cosby, including several who attended the trial wearing buttons that read "We Stand in Truth".

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

Charges were filed in December 2015 after a number of women came forward to accuse Cosby of sexual assault, and testimony emerged in which Cosby said he got quaaludes (methaqualone) in the 1970s for women he wanted to have sex with.

Less than 48 hours later, the panel informed the judge that they were still deadlocked on all three counts.

Bill Cosby's chief accuser is thanking prosecutors for taking her case after a jury failed to agree on a verdict.

Cosby declined to testify and the defense spent just minutes presenting their case, calling one witness and arguing that the evidence just did not exist to convict their client.

Bill Cosby's celebrity peers aren't shying away from sounding off about his mistrial, declared Saturday by a Pennsylvania judge. At the time, Constand worked at Cosby's alma mater, Temple University. As deliberations wore on, Cosby thanked his fans and supporters - first in a tweet, then in brief comments as he left the courthouse Friday night. He said Constand "is entitled to a verdict in this case and the citizens of Montgomery County, where this crime occurred, are entitled to a verdict in this case". Cosby says the encounter was consensual.

"Girls" creator Lena Dunham, 31, was quick to express repugnance for the outcome: "Bill Cosby's trial is about much more than Bill Cosby. Heinously and exploitatively ambitious", the statement said.

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