Judge to dead­locked Cosby jury: Keep try­ing to reach ver­dict.

Four days, 30 hours later, still no con­sen­sus

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY MARYCLAIRE DALE AND MICHAEL R. SISAK

NORRISTOWN, PA. | Ju­rors in Bill Cosby’s sex­ual as­sault trial said Thurs­day they are dead­locked on charges he drugged and mo­lested a woman in 2004, but a judge or­dered them to keep try­ing to reach a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion in a case that has al­ready helped oblit­er­ate the TV star’s ca­reer and nice-guy rep­u­ta­tion.

The panel de­lib­er­ated about 30 hours over four days be­fore telling Judge Steven O’Neill they “can­not come to a unan­i­mous con­sen­sus on any of the counts” against Mr. Cosby, 79, who is charged with three counts of ag­gra­vated in­de­cent as­sault.

The judge sent them back to the jury room to keep talk­ing and de­nied a de­fense mo­tion for a mis­trial. Hours later, the jury was still at it.

The se­questered ju­rors have ap­peared in­creas­ingly tired and up­set after de­lib­er­at­ing late into the night the past three days. Some ju­rors looked de­feated as the judge or­dered them to con­tinue de­lib­er­at­ing. One, more up­beat, nod­ded along.

The case in­volves Mr. Cosby’s sex­ual en­counter with An­drea Con­stand, 44, at his sub­ur­ban Philadel­phia home. Ms. Con­stand says Mr. Cosby gave her pills that made her woozy, then he vi­o­lated her. His lawyer says Mr. Cosby and Ms. Con­stand were lovers who shared a con­sen­sual mo­ment of in­ti­macy.

Mr. Cosby’s spokesman main­tained the im­passe showed that ju­rors doubted Ms. Con­stand’s story.

“They’re con­flicted about the in­con­sis­ten­cies in Ms. Con­stand’s tes­ti­mony,” spokesman An­drew Wy­att said. “And they’re hear­ing Mr. C’s tes­ti­mony and he’s ex­tremely truth­ful. And that’s created this doubt.”

Ms. Con­stand’s lawyer, Dolores Troiani, said only that the “jury is ap­par­ently work­ing very hard.” The dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice de­clined to com­ment.

Ms. Con­stand her­self passed the time by shoot­ing hoops in a hall­way out­side the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice. She tweeted a video Thurs­day that shows her shoot­ing a mini-bas­ket­ball into a net to the tune of “Sweet Ge­or­gia Brown,” the theme song of the Har­lem Glo­be­trot­ters. It ended with: “AL­WAYS FOL­LOW THROUGH.”

Ms. Con­stand won a na­tional ti­tle with the Univer­sity of Ari­zona and played in a pro league in Europe be­fore land­ing a job with Tem­ple Univer­sity women’s bas­ket­ball team. It was at Tem­ple where she met Mr. Cosby, a mem­ber of the school’s board of trustees.

With the jury strug­gling to find com­mon ground, some of the other women who have ac­cused Mr. Cosby of sex­ual as­sault con­fronted sign-wav­ing Mr. Cosby sup­port­ers gath­ered on the court­house steps to await the out­come. But the at­mos­phere re­mained calm, with ac­cusers and sup­port­ers even hold­ing hands at times.

Dozens of women have come for­ward to say Mr. Cosby had drugged and as­saulted them, but this was the only case to re­sult in crim­i­nal charges.

The 12-mem­ber jury must come to a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion to con­vict or ac­quit. If the panel can’t break its im­passe, Judge O’Neill could de­clare a hung jury and a mis­trial. In that case, pros­e­cu­tors would get four months to de­cide whether they want to retry the TV star or drop the charges.

Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia law pro­fes­sor David Ru­dovsky, a crim­i­nal lawyer in Philadel­phia, said Thurs­day that the stale­mate didn’t sur­prise him, given the na­ture of the case. He added a hung jury would be a vic­tory for Mr. Cosby.

“In most crim­i­nal cases, any­thing short of a con­vic­tion is a win for the de­fense,” said Mr. Ru­dovsky, who isn’t in­volved in the case. “It doesn’t sur­prise me that this jury is split. The pros­e­cu­tion had a strong case, but the de­fense was able to show a lot of in­con­sis­ten­cies.”

The jury, bused in from the Pitts­burgh area, has paused a half-dozen times to re­visit key ev­i­dence, in­clud­ing Mr. Cosby’s decade-old ad­mis­sions that he fon­dled Ms. Con­stand after giv­ing her pills.

Each of the counts against Mr. Cosby car­ries a max­i­mum 10-year prison term, though the counts could be merged at sen­tenc­ing if he is con­victed.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Judge Steven O’Neill or­dered the ju­rors of the Bill Cosby trial to reach a con­sen­sus. Mr. Cosby has been charged with three counts of ag­gra­vated in­de­cent as­sault.

Gar­vey Black came to show his sup­port for Bill Cosby dur­ing jury de­lib­er­a­tions at the Mont­gomery County Court­house in Norristown, Penn­syl­va­nia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.