NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS/AP) —The jury in Bill Cosby’s sex assault trial is going home for the night after failing to reach a verdict on the third day of deliberations.
The panel decided to stop Wednesday night after revisiting a police interview where the comedian acknowledged giving accuser Andrea Constand pills and fondling her.READ MORE: SEPTA Union Unanimously Approves Strike If Deal Isn't Reached
Jurors have deliberated for nearly 30 hours as they consider allegations that the 79-year-old entertainer drugged and molested Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his gated estate near Philadelphia in 2004.
On Wednesday afternoon, the jury requested the court reread excerpts of Andrea Constand’s testimony about the night when she said Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her.
Later Wednesday, the jury asked for transcripts on how Constand first reported the alleged assault to police.
Some jurors have appeared frustrated when returning to the courtroom where the eight-day trial has taken place.
“They’ve been here a long time. I’m sure they would like to reach a verdict. I hope they do, and I hope it’s today, but I don’t know if that will happen,” said high-profile attorney Gloria Allred, who represents some of Cosby’s accusers.
Constand, 44, who spent seven hours on the stand last week, was in the gallery as the jury scrutinized her story.
She testified that Cosby gave her pills that left her woozy, helped her to a couch and then violated her while she was passed out, unable to say no or fight his advances.
The jury had previously reviewed Cosby’s version of events, contained in a deposition he gave in 2005 and 2006 as part of Constand’s lawsuit against him and introduced by prosecutors at the criminal trial.
Cosby said he gave Constand three half-tablets of Benadryl, an over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine, to help her relax. His lawyers maintain Constand was a willing sexual partner.
But Cosby said the pills were Benadryl, an over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine. Constand — an athletic, 6-foot-tall basketball staffer — believes it was something stronger, saying they made her overly tired and unable to say no to or fight his advances.
Cosby maintained that Constand was a willing sexual partner and she hid the fact that the two had a romantic relationship. Constand denied there was any romance between them and told jurors she had rebuffed his advances before the assault.
“Can you find 12 people who will agree? That’s the question,” said criminal lawyer Alan J. Tauber, who wasn’t involved in the case. “There were no bombshells or surprises in the trial. From what I read, they both argued very effectively.”READ MORE: Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refinery Rebranded As The Bellwether District
On Monday and Tuesday, the panel of seven men and five women reviewed portions of Cosby’s deposition from Constand’s lawsuit, as well as notes from her first police interview.
By Tuesday night, they looked exhausted.
“You’re conscientious. You are working hard. It is exhausting work and the day has to come to an end,” Judge Steven O’Neill told the sequestered jurors when they asked to return to their hotel at 9:20 p.m., after a 12-hour day. “Read nothing into this. This is how juries deliberate.”
On Wednesday morning, the panel resumed talks.
Separate from the trial, a weird incident happened Wednesday when a man carrying a recliner was kicked off the courthouse steps.
Cosby, once known as America’s Dad for his portrayal of kindly Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” told police he left Constand to sleep on the couch after their “romantic interlude” while he moved upstairs to his bedroom. The five-bedroom house was otherwise empty until the staff arrived at 7 a.m. the next morning.
Constand said she woke up, groggy, sore and disheveled, around 4 a.m. She said she got up to leave and found Cosby in the kitchen. He had a muffin and tea waiting for her, and she left.
The first prosecutor to review the case in 2005 passed on it. District Attorney Kevin Steele reversed course a decade later, after more women accused Cosby of sexual misconduct and the public release of his startling deposition in which he spoke about a string of liaisons with young women over the course of 50 years.
Cosby, who called all the encounters consensual, is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Each carries a maximum 10-year term, though the counts could be merged at sentencing if he is convicted.
The Rev. Andrew F. Kline, a vicar of a historic black church in Norristown who stopped by the courthouse steps Wednesday to check out the scene, said his congregation is “absolutely” talking about the case given Cosby’s place in their lives.
“He was huge. He was huge. He was a role model. He couldn’t escape that,” Kline said. “You probably want it on one level, as a celebrity. He made some powerful statements that people either said, ‘Yeah, Amen,’ or ‘That’s not the way we are.’
“So it’s always difficult to look under the hood and see the reality of our lives,” Kline said. “I pray for him. I pray for her. I pray for everybody here that justice be done, but that there be some mercy, too, right? I mean, we need to be about that.”MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Weather: Chance Of Severe Weather As Parts Of Region Could See Up To 3 Inches Of Rain
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