‘Hopelessly Deadlocked’: Judge Declares Mistrial In Cosby Sex Assault Case

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS/AP) — If Mr. Cosby had been convicted by a jury Saturday he would have gone straight to prison, likely never to return to his Montgomery County home again.

Of course, that did not happen and Cosby’s team says that he is now taking each day as it comes while prosecutors seek to retry him.

“He is resting. He is just spending time with Mrs. Cosby in Philadelphia and kicking off the Father’s Day weekend as a free man,” said Cosby’s Spokesperson Andrew Wyatt hours after the charges against Cosby including Aggravated Indecent Assault, resulted in a mistrial.

In an interview with CNN, lead Defense Attorney, Brian McMonagle said that there were “no winners” in a trial that is without a verdict, but added;

“As long as you can leave that court room with your client presumed innocent as he began, then I’m satisfied.”

McMonagle also said that as a long-time fan of Cosby, answering the call to represent him was simple.

“I’m from Philadelphia and Bill Cosby means a lot to a lot of us in this area. So when I got that call I said yes,” he said, adding in the CNN interview that he would gladly consider representing Cosby for a second time if he is re-tried.

Another Philadelphia-area native, Attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing 33 Cosby accusers voiced her disappointment in the lack of conviction,

“We can never underestimate the blinding power of celebrity,” she said from the Montgomery County Courthouse steps Saturday morning. She looks forward to District Attorney Kevin Steel pursuing the case again.

“In other words, it’s too early to celebrate Mr. Cosby.”

The jury was unable to reach a verdict in the Bill Cosby sex assault trial.

After nearly a week of deliberations, the judge declared a mistrial Saturday in the case.

The jury had been deliberating for 52 hours when they told told Judge Steven O’Neill they were “hopelessly deadlocked.”

The judge sought to comfort the jurors, at least one of whom fought back tears, calling their epic deliberation “one of the more courageous acts, one of the more selfless acts that I’ve seen in the justice system. … I feel bad for all of you, I really do.”

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele says his office will retry Cosby.

“We will retry it,” Steele told reporters Saturday morning. “Our plan is to move this case forward as soon as possible.”

Steele says Andrea Constand, the main accuser in the case, is “entitled to a verdict,” stating that she has shown real courage.

“This is a case we know has been important for sexual assault victims everywhere,” said Steele.

Steele added that the last time he had a deadlocked jury was over 20 years ago.

“I’m not used to this,” he said.

Cosby remains free on bail.

Cosby’s team declared victory and went on the attack.

“Mr. Cosby’s power is back. It has been restored,” said Andrew Wyatt, his spokesman.

Cosby’s wife of 53 years, Camille, slammed prosecutors for bringing the case to court, calling Steele “heinously and exploitatively ambitious” in a statement released after court adjourned. She also attacked the judge, the accuser’s lawyers and the media.

“How do I describe the judge? Overtly arrogant, collaborating with the district attorney,” said her statement, which was read by Wyatt.

She also slammed the media covering the trial.

“How do I describe many, but not all, general media? Blatantly vicious entities that continually disseminated intentional omissions of truths for the primary purpose of greedily selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life,” Camille Cosby said.

Cosby himself didn’t comment. He remained stoic as the judge declared a mistrial, while Constand doled out hugs to her mother, prosecutors and some of the other women who say the TV star drugged and abused them.

The fast-moving case went to the jury of seven men and five women on Day 6 of the trial after closing arguments painted different pictures of what happened between Cosby and Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia estate.

Cosby: ‘I Just Truly Believe’ Racism, Revenge Behind Sex Assault Allegations

After the prosecution took five days to outline its side, the defense case consisted of just one witness — a detective — and six minutes of testimony Monday.

But the jurors clearly struggled with their verdict, telling the judge on Day 4 they were at impasse. O’Neill instructed them to keep working toward a unanimous decision. On Saturday, they came back and told O’Neill they were hopelessly deadlocked.

It was the only criminal case to arise from allegations from more than 60 women that cast Cosby – married more than 50 years – as a serial predator who gave drugs to women before violating them.

He did not take the stand in his own defense, leaving it to his attorney to argue Cosby and Constand were lovers sharing a consensual sexual encounter. Lawyer Brian McMonagle told jurors that while Cosby had been unfaithful to his wife, he didn’t commit a crime.

“We’re talking about all the man’s tomorrows,” said McMonagle, urging acquittal of an icon in the twilight of life.

Cosby broke barriers as the first black actor to star in a network show, “I Spy,” in the 1960s and created the top-ranked “Cosby Show” two decades later, starring as kindly Dr. Cliff Huxtable. He found success with his “Fat Albert” animated TV show and starred in commercials for Jello-O pudding.

But it was his reputation as a public moralist who urged young people to pull up their saggy pants 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.

In the deposition, released in 2015 at the request of The Associated Press, Cosby said he obtained several prescriptions for quaaludes in the 1970s and offered the now-banned sedatives to women he wanted to have sex with.

He also said he gave Constand three half-tablets of the cold and allergy medicine Benadryl before the “petting” began. Prosecutors suggested he drugged her with something stronger.

Constand, 44, initially went to police about a year after she said Cosby assaulted her, but a prosecutor declared her case too weak to bring charges.

Daughter: Bill Cosby ‘Is Not Abusive, Violent Or A Rapist’

A decade later, a new district attorney reopened the investigation after Cosby’s lurid testimony about drugs and sex became public, and dozens of women came forward against one of the most beloved stars in all of show business. He was charged shortly before the statute of limitation was set to expire.

McMonagle, in his closing argument, pointed out that Constand telephoned Cosby dozens of times after the alleged assault. Constand told the jury she was merely returning his calls about the women’s basketball squad at Temple University, where she was director of team operations and he was a member of the board of trustees.

“This isn’t talking to a trustee. This is talking to a lover,” McMonagle said of one call that lasted 49 minutes. “Why are we running from the truth of this case – this relationship? Why?”

He also tried to sow doubt about Constand’s story, saying it had evolved during her interviews with police.

But Steele, the district attorney, said it was no accident that some of Constand’s memories were faulty.

“There are some things in this case that should be fuzzy. Why? Because he drugged her to do this,” the prosecutor told jurors. “She spent a lot more time trying to forget what happened than trying to remember that night.”

Before going on trial, Cosby expressed hope he could eventually resume his career. But TV networks had long since scrapped plans for a comeback and pulled reruns from the air after his lurid deposition testimony became public.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Gerald James says:

    The Constitution provides that the accused must be proven, beyond a reasonable doubt of every fact regarding the crime. The prosecution did not prove their case. Maybe they’ll have better luck next time, or the time after that, or the time after that. The prosecutor can keep trying for as long as he likes.

    1. stepheng2010 says:

      First, a DA may not ethically proceed with a trial absent a good faith believe that he can secure a conviction. In my 37 years experience with trying criminal cases, that decision following a hung jury is informed by a. the jury vote (e.g., 11-1, 6-6, etc.) as well as a through conversation with the individual jurors to find out why the first trial did not prove the case. Second, a DA has limited resources (personnel and money). Should Steel ignore several freshly reported sex assault cases where the V did not take a ton of $$ from the alleged perpetrator 12 years ago in order to pursue a 13 year old case where the jury panel has to be bussed in from out-of-town, and the seated jury needs to be given room and board for three weeks and guarded? Third, is there any new evidence that can likely be developed to make a conviction on a retrial more likely?

      These questions cannot in should not be glibly answered by Tweeting that the case will be retried minutes after a mistrial is declared. A responsible prosecutor speaks to the jurors, gathers the relevant information, and in consultation with staff and the victim makes a considered decision.

  2. Pete Wagner says:

    Coz ain’t no frat boy.

  3. What was the ethnicity makeup of the “jury”???

  4. If you have not served on a jury, you have little idea what these people are faced with. You are instructed by a judge to only weigh the evidence that is presented in the court room. Any press about the case cannot be considered. Obviously, the prosecution did not do a very good job in presenting their case, as any American, including Mr. Cosby, is innocent till proven guilty. He will have another day in court, yet I think another jury will have a difficult time coming to a unanimous consensus as to the defendant’s guilt or innocence.

  5. Celebrities don’t get convicted in the USA.

    There’s always at least one fan on the jury that will refuse to vote guilty no matter the evidence.

  6. Sure would like to know the jury count.

  7. “Well, you see, it’s the PEE PEE in the POO POO with the POKEMON and then the TURTLE POPS OUT….” .

  8. This whole thing was about the last chance Constand had to squeeze money out of Cosby. They had been having an affair. In the beginning Constand told detectives she was never at any time alone with Bill Cosby before the supposed “rape”. But that proved to be a lie and she corrected herself.

    After the Constand called Cosby more than 53 times, now trying to explain it, that it was due to the basketball team. Where she was a director and Cosby was a board member, YET she called NO OTHER board member. Some of those calls lasted nearly an hour.

    After the supposed “rape”, Constand went out shopping and bought a sweater as a gift and gave it to Cosby. Who gives gifts to their rapist? Seriously.

    Not only that, but after the supposed “rape”, Constand asked for, and received from Cosby many tickets to one of his shows, where upon she took her entire family to go see him, live. Who in their right mind, would take their family to go see their rapist???

    Cosby may have had affairs, but he is not a rapist. Despicable, cheating on his wife, but not a rapist.

  9. What was the racial makeup of the “jury”????

    1. All the defense needs is one or two blacks on the jury to prevent a conviction…PERIOD! End of story !

      1. I think you are correct…

  10. cmsfl says:

    “Victim” wasn’t really a “Victim”. “Victim” doesn’t keep coming back. Taxpayer $$$. 13 yr old case of he/she said. Taxes will go up next yr

  11. Stu Pedasso says:

    What was the jury scorecard on guilty v. acquittal? If Steele doesn’t know that before announcing he would retry the case, it looks to me like he’s just trying to make a name for himself instead of doing a proper job.

  12. This chicken s. h. i. t. of a da and the judge are trying to profit off of Cosby just like the Golddigger.

    Ridiculous.

    They are hoping for OJ Status and Fame………………….

  13. Bill Cosby’s eyesight seems to be miraculously coming back.

    Cosby’s Affirmative Action lawyer is basking in some imaginary victory, when in reality his defense argument was six minutes of incompetence and was an embarrassment to the legal profession. His smugness over a his “victory” likely came from Black Jury Nullification. A well known reality of black racism that defense lawyers defending black perps celebrate, count on, and encourage.

  14. Leave the man alone. People love to bring down a black man who has worked for success.

    1. As if he’s innocent. What a joke! It’s a slap to decent black people just like OJ and Obama. All you black people celebrating better know you’re going to reap what you sow. Reverend Wrights’ “roosters will come home to roost”, and you will pay the biggest price!

  15. Got naggers? Got mistrials.

  16. For the prosecution to simply announce an intent to retry before the count (guilty vs. not guilty) in known and the jurors debriefed by the prosecution is foolish. What if 11 jurors voted to acquit? A retrial would be pointless.

    1. We all know there were only two fecal-colored holdouts,

      1. Yeah, I now. The only time i APPRECIATE THEIR RACE.

  17. The only difference between Bill Cosby and Bill Clinton is that Cosby used narcotics to have his way with his victims; Clinton used his political power and his enabler, Hillary Clinton.

    And she was almost elected!!

    Why are we rewarding lawlessness and incompetence? Obama was re-elected despite constantly getting our troops killed, his incredibly low labor usage, declining wage growth, and skyrocketing health care costs. He made it his mission to provide “affordable” care with the ACA, yet my rates doubled up to $500/month (compare this with my ever decreasing car insurance rates… only $25/month from Insurance Panda now). Yet we voted him in for 8 years? And we wanted to elect Hillary?

    Sexual predator Slick Wille for a husband and Huma Abedin with internet pervert husband Carlos Danger as best friends? Where in Hell do these people come from and how stupid can their constituents be? Even today, millions line up to see any of them, acting as though in the presence of greatness rather than embarrassed by their reprobate, nefarious character.

  18. Amos The Prophet says:

    The current DA appears to be trying to build a resume for himself, at another’s expense, as he climbs the political ladder.

    1. David Satoru says:

      Exactly! This district attorney got voted into office by raking his opponent over the coals by shamelessly sensationalizing a case that was long dead. What’s done is long done. To what useful end does prosecuting an 80 year old celebrity serve except to enhance the career of a mediocre, small-time district attorney who’s suffering from self-important delusions of grandeur? This case has always been a legal fool’s errand; the county should pay for these misguided legal proceedings by attaching Steele’s wages and putting a lien on his property.

  19. Since there was in essence a signed confession where Bill Crosby admitted to drugging women so he could rape them I suspect the hold out jurors have a lot of explaining to do.

  20. The prosecutors will retry because it’s on the taxpayers dime. If they lose and had to pay the defense court costs this would not happen.

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