‘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.)

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