Cosby jury to return on Friday to try to break deadlock
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 18:02
Jurors in Bill Cosby's sexual-assault trial reported Thursday that they were at an impasse after more than 30 hours of deliberations over four days.
The jury had said earlier Thursday that they were deadlocked, but Judge Steven O'Neill told them to keep deliberating.
Jurors considering the fate of Bill Cosby at his sexual assault trial asked for a definition of "reasonable doubt" on their fifth day of deliberations Friday, a day after telling the judge they were deadlocked on all charges.
The jury in Bill Cosby's sex assault trial is going back to its hotel for the night after failing to resolve a deadlock that's threatened to end the case without a verdict.
Jurors were also keenly focused on what Cosby said about the pills he gave to Constand before their encounter, asking for the second time in deliberations to revisit a portion of the deposition in which the comedian talked about giving Constand "three friends for you to make you relax".
Bill Cosby shakes hands with his lawyer Brian McMonagle as they leave the Montgomery County Courthouse during Cosby's sexual assault trial, Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Norristown, Pa.
Cosby has been charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, with no minimum, and a $25,000 fine. A spokesman for the stand-up comedian and actor told reporters gathered outside the Montgomery County courthouse that the judge should declare a mistrial.
The members of the jury say they are deadlocked and "cannot come to a unanimous consensus on any of these counts".
Constand initially told police about the alleged assault in January 2005, a year after she says it took place.
She added, "They can not reach a verdict until all of them agree".
As he described reaching into Constand's trousers, Cosby testified, "I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection".
Nothing has filtered out about the state of the deliberations, with only hints to be gleaned from questions they have asked O'Neill.
"I felt really humiliated and I was really confused", she said through tears.
According to Constand, on the night of the alleged assault she complained of tension and trouble sleeping while visiting Cosby to discuss her pursuit of a career in sports broadcasting.
The judge sent them back to the jury room to keep talking and denied a defense motion for a mistrial. "If you've reached a unanimous decision on some of the charges, please report that back to me", he said.
University of Pennsylvania law professor David Rudovsky, a criminal lawyer in Philadelphia, said Thursday that the jurors' inability to agree on a verdict didn't surprise him, given the nature of a case that boiled down to Cosby's word against his accuser's and the legal meaning of consent.
As the jurors left for the day, O'Neill heaped praise on them, thanking them for their dedication and the sacrifice they've made being 300 miles from home in the Pittsburgh area.
He has said he gave Benadryl to Constand, 44, before what he insisted was a consensual sexual encounter. However, this month's trial marked the first time Cosby faced criminal charges; the statute of limitations had expired in virtually all of the other cases.
The case has already helped demolish Cosby's nice-guy reputation as "America's Dad".
The case stems from accusations from Andrea Constand who's case was the only one filed before the statue of limitations had expired.