Monday, 24 September, 2018

Mistrial announced in Bill Cosby case

Judge Steven O'Neill leaves the courtroom following his decision in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown Pa. Saturday Mistrial announced in Bill Cosby case
Freda Brock | 17 June, 2017, 17:51

After the decision was announced, prosecutors said they plan to re-try the case.

The jury deliberated a total of about 52 hours over about five days after a trial that moved at a brisk pace for the first six days.

After numerous pre-trial hearings before O'Neill, most of which Cosby lost, trial was set for June 5.

The comedian is accused of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. His reputation may still be in tatters, but for now he'll be a free man.

The man once best known to USA audiences as "America's dad" faces similar accusations from dozens of women, though only Constand's allegations have resulted in criminal charges.

Cosby did not testify on his own behalf during the trial, despite rumors that circulated late last week.

On Friday morning, jurors came back with more questions.

Constand, the woman at the center of the charges filed against Cosby, spent almost eight hours over two days on the witness stand.

The sequestered jurors had deliberated about 30 hours before telling Judge Steven O'Neill earlier Thursday that they couldn't reach a unanimous decision on any of the counts against the 79-year-old comedian.

He called Constand a liar and said inconsistencies in her statements to police should cause reasonable doubt. "And I felt Mr. Cosby's hand groping my breasts under my shirt".

Cosby was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault. That was over in 2005. McMonagle has said Wyatt was not speaking at his direction. "We're here because of them".

The jury resumed deliberations Saturday over whether the 79-year-old TV star drugged and molested a woman in his Philadelphia-area home in 2004. The bit went viral, with then-Philly Mag reporter Dan McQuade publishing it in a blog post.

List of Republican congressmen found with baseball practice shooter
And she wouldn't go into anything about his politics but did add this detail that he sold everything he owned from his businesses. James told her that he was going to Washington , "work on taxes" and "change the tax brackets", she said.

The case has already helped demolish his image as America's Dad, cultivated during his eight-year run as kindly Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-rated "The Cosby Show" in the 1980s and '90s.

Prosecutors said they would retry Cosby, who remains charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Officials cited newly-publicized testimony from a 2005 deposition in a civil case filed by Constand. Specifically, they wanted to hear the portion about Quaaludes and Cosby's knowledge of, use and access to them.

Cosby lead defense attorney Brian McMonagle then motioned for a mistrial, which O'Neill promptly granted.

Andrea Constand, right, returns to the courtroom at the Montgomery County Courthouse during Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Norristown, Pa. Cosby is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Constand at his home outside Philadelphia in 2004.

Judge Steven O'Neill refused, saying there's no precedent to halt the jury's work.

That woman testified first in the criminal trial. He said Cosby had been unfaithful to his wife but he didn't commit a crime.

Constand's mother was another main witness for the prosecution.

Cosby's defense team didn't dispute much of the facts, but instead claimed the encounter was consensual. Cosby has denied every accusation and said his encounter with Constand was consensual.

Steele told jurors the case was straightforward, resting on three pillars: One, that Cosby drugged Constand. He also described Cosby as an imperfect philanderer - not a sexual predator. "And she deserved better".

Bill Cosby's lawyer has repeatedly demanded a mistrial as the talks wore on without a verdict, but the judge said there was no precedent to send the jury home.

"This is pretty fundamental: lack of consent", Steele said.

"Why? Because, he drugged her", he said.


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