NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS/AP) — The jurors in Bill Cosby’s sex assault retrial were sent back to the hotel on Wednesday night after more than 10 hours of deliberation.
“Your mind is done. You’re exhausted,” said Judge Steven O’Neill, sending them back to their hotel.
Deliberations began Wednesday morning after the panel of seven men and five women received instructions from the judge.
Twice by late afternoon, the jury had questions for the judge, asking him for the legal meaning of “consent” and requesting to see written statements from defense star witness Marguerite Jackson, a former Temple colleague of Constand’s who testified that Constand spoke of framing a prominent person for the money before she went to the police about Cosby.
Judge Steve O’Neill told the jurors they had already been given the definitions of the charges, and he said they would have to rely on their memory of Jackson’s statements.
Around 5:30 p.m., the jury asked for a reread from Cosby’s 2005 deposition and Jackson’s cross-examination testimony by prosecutors.
Cosby gave the deposition more than a decade ago as part of Constand’s civil suit against him, testifying that he gave quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with back in the 1970s. He also spoke about his encounter with Constand, whom he paid nearly $3.4 million in a 2006 settlement of her claims.
The jury was sent home by 9:30 p.m.
Deliberations began after a marathon day of closing arguments Tuesday that portrayed the comedian both as a calculating predator who is finally being brought to justice and as the victim of a multimillion-dollar frame-up by a “pathological liar.”
“The time for the defendant to escape justice is over. It’s finally time for the defendant to dine on the banquet of his own consequences,” prosecutor Stewart Ryan told the jury.
Cosby’s lawyers argued that the charges were based on “flimsy, silly, ridiculous evidence.”
The jury heard testimony from five other women who said that Cosby drugged and violated them, too. Before excusing the jurors to deliberate, O’Neill told them they could consider the women’s testimony as possible evidence that Cosby had a pattern of predatory behavior, but he forbade them from using it to find that the comedian is “a person of bad character.”
Lili Bernard, a former “Cosby Show” actress, is one of dozens of women accusing Cosby of sexual assault. Many of them sit in the courtroom as they observe the high-stakes case.
“I’m hopeful the jury will make a decision that will land them on the right side of history,” said Bernard.
Facing the prospect of a conviction and lengthy prison term, Cosby nevertheless seemed in good spirits Wednesday, giving a quick fist pump and sashaying toward well-wishers chanting, “We love Bill!” as he arrived at the courthouse.
His more streamlined first trial ended in a hung jury last year after six days of deliberations. Only one additional accuser testified that time. Nor were jurors told the amount of Cosby’s 2006 civil settlement with Constand, which defense lawyer Tom Mesereau on Tuesday called “one of the biggest highway robberies of all time.”
“I have never seen or heard of a retrial that was as different as this was from the first trial,” said lawyer Dennis McAndrews, who has been following the retrial and is not associated with either side. “The prosecution now had multiple victims and the defense had the issue of money, which were powerful weapons for both sides.”
Cosby’s lawyers went after Constand hard, attacking her credibility and character and highlighting more a dozen inconsistencies in what she said over the years. They argued that she falsely accused Cosby so she could sue him and extract a big settlement.
“You’re dealing with a pathological liar, members of the jury,” said Mesereau, who won an acquittal in Michael Jackson’s 2005 child molestation case.
“We feel that they’re trying to get it right, to cleanse Mr. Cosby of this injustice he is facing,” said Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt.
Prosecutor Kristen Feden called Cosby the true con artist — wresting that label from Cosby’s lawyers, who had applied it to Constand throughout the trial. Feden warned that the man trusted for his role as genial, sweater-wearing Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” is “nothing like the image that he played on TV.”
“How many women does it take before one woman is believed over the denial of a rich, powerful, famous man?” said attorney Gloria Allred, who represents several of the accusers.
Cosby is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)