Cosby judge could revisit issue of revealing names of jurors

Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial has ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked and was not able to come to a decision.

It was a stunning development - and a momentary victory - for the 79-year-old pioneering black entertainer who risked spending the rest of his life in prison if convicted of assaulting former university employee Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home 13 years ago. Eventually she woke up to find him groping and molesting her while he pleasured himself. During these deliberations which lasted more than 52 hours, jurors asked 12 questions of the court.

Cosby was seen waving in jubilation as he left the Montgomery County Court in Pennsylvania following the judge's decision on Saturday.

Prosecutors said immediately that they would retry the Cosby Show star, and he remains charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

The jurors clearly struggled with their verdict, telling Judge Steven O'Neill on Thursday they were at impasse.

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The names of the jurors who failed to reach a verdict in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial have not been made public, but the judge in the case could revisit the issue as early as Monday. They attacked the judge, in a letter from Cosby's wife Camille, as "arrogant" and Steele as "heinous" and "ambitious".

It was the only criminal case to arise from allegations from more than 60 women that cast Cosby as a serial predator who gave drugs to women before violating them.

NY lawyer Paul Callan, a former prosecutor, said he thought it would be "exceptionally difficult" for the state to win a second trial against Cosby. He also found success with his "Fat Albert" animated TV show and starred in commercials for Jell-O pudding.

Cosby's career and good-guy image were already in tatters by the time his chief accuser took the witness stand, and the prosecution's decision to pursue a second trial keeps him in legal limbo.

The jury must come to a unanimous decision to convict or acquit.

But it was Cosby's reputation as a public moralist who urged young people to pull up their saggy trousers and start acting responsibly that prompted a federal judge to unseal portions of an explosive deposition he gave more than a decade ago as part of Constand's civil lawsuit against him. Prosecutors suggested he drugged her with something stronger. Oliver appeared aghast at Cosby's post-trial behavior, saying "what are you doing?" and noting that "shouting your character's catch phrase while on trial is a weird choice".

In civil lawsuits in the United States, plaintiffs need only show that the weight of evidence is on their side, meaning they have information to tip the scales above 50 percent in their favor, as opposed to criminal cases in which prosecutors must prove claims beyond a reasonable doubt.

David Harris, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law who specializes in criminal justice, said the hung jury did not mean that a civil jury would clear Cosby of liability.

  • Salvatore Jensen