At a glance: Last day of the Bill Cosby sex assault trial
A recap of what happened Saturday in the Bill Cosby sex assault case, which ended in a mistrial. Cosby is charged with drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home outside Philadelphia in 2004. Dozens of other women have accused Cosby, now 79, of molesting them decades ago, and 10 have lawsuits pending against him. Only one was allowed to testify in the Constand case. Cosby has denied all their claims.
Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial after the jury of seven men and five women, picked 300 miles away in the Pittsburgh area and sequestered since the trial began June 5, announced they were hopelessly deadlocked after 52 hours of deliberations over six days. The jury got the case Monday, and first declared itself deadlocked Thursday on the three counts of aggravated indecent assault. But the judge sent them back to try to reach a unanimous verdict. Neither the judge nor attorneys said they were aware of how the jury split on Cosby’s guilt or innocence. The charges against Cosby remain in place.
A NEW TRIAL
District Attorney Kevin Steele said immediately after the mistrial that he would retry Cosby. He said Constand “is entitled to a verdict in this case and the citizens of Montgomery County, where this crime occurred, are entitled to a verdict in this case. And we will push forward.” He said prosecutors felt good about the case, but “there’s always tweaks.”
THE COSBYS’ RESPONSE
Cosby, who did not take the stand during his trial, did not comment outside court. Instead, a publicist read a blistering statement from his wife, Camille, who had been in court during one day of the trial but was not at the courthouse Saturday. In the statement, which Bill Cosby later tweeted, she attacked Judge O’Neill, describing him as “overtly arrogant” and accusing him of “collaborating with the district attorney.” She described the prosecutor as “heinously and exploitively ambitious.”
From defense attorney Brian McMonagle: “There were no winners here but like the song goes you don’t always get what you want but if you try sometimes ... you get what you need. If the case is retried, know that I will once again put them to the test.”
After the mistrial, Constand doled out hugs to her mother, prosecutors and some of the other women who say the TV star drugged and abused them. She did not comment publicly. But her lawyer, Dolores Troiani, said “she’s a very spiritual person. She believes things happen for a reason.”
“She will absolutely come back again,” she said.
In a written statement, Troiani thanked prosecutors for raising awareness “that one of the hallmarks of drug-related sexual assaults is the effect the drug has on the victim’s memory and ability to recall, and were nonetheless willing to present this evidence to the jury. We are confident that these proceedings have given a voice to the many victims who felt powerless and silenced.”
THE OTHER ACCUSERS
Kelly Johnson was the only other accuser allowed to testify at Cosby’s trial; the prosecution had wanted to put on 13. Johnson alleged that Cosby drugged and molested her at a Los Angeles hotel bungalow in 1996. Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Johnson and many other accusers, said she hoped more can testify at the next trial. Said Allred: “We can never underestimate the blinding power of celebrity, but justice will come.”
Cindra Ladd, one of the 13 who could not take the stand, issued a statement thanking Constand for “her leadership and courage.”
“Bill Cosby has already been exposed as a predator who hid behind his jovial mask for more than 50 years and no jury verdict will ever change that,” she posted on Facebook. Ladd accused Cosby of drugging and raping her in 1969 in New York.
Cosby’s lawyers have denied the charges.
This story has been corrected to show the jury consisted of seven men and five women, not seven women.