Cosby pros­e­cu­tor un­de­terred by mistrial

Co­me­dian’s wife tears into court judge

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

NOR­RIS­TOWN, PA. | Bill Cosby, the co­me­dian once known as “Amer­ica’s Dad” for his TV role as pa­ter­nal Dr. Cliff Huxtable, de­clared victory this Fa­ther’s Day af­ter a jury de­lib­er­ated 52 hours with­out reach­ing con­sen­sus on charges he drugged and mo­lested a woman in 2004.

No one from Mr. Cosby’s real or TV fam­i­lies was in court Satur­day when the case ended in a mistrial. In­stead, Mr. Cosby emerged from the court­house with his pub­lic­ity team, which read a state­ment from his wife that ac­cused the judge likely to retry him of ar­ro­gance and col­lu­sion with pros­e­cu­tors.

District At­tor­ney Kevin Steele vowed to try the 79-year-old Mr. Cosby a sec­ond time, say­ing ac­cuser An­drea Con­stand sup­ported the de­ci­sion.

“She has shown such courage through this, and we are in awe of what she has done,” Mr. Steele said. “She’s en­ti­tled to a ver­dict in this case.”

Mr. Cosby’s team de­clared victory, how­ever tem­po­rary.

By sow­ing doubt among one or more ju­rors, Mr. Cosby’s lawyers man­aged to over­come two years of un­re­lent­ing bad pub­lic­ity for their client af­ter the pub­lic re­lease of his dam­ag­ing tes­ti­mony about drugs and sex, as well as a bar­rage of ac­cu­sa­tions from 60 women who came for­ward to ac­cuse him of sex­ual as­sault.

Ms. Con­stand, now 44, told ju­rors Mr. Cosby gave her pills that made her woozy and then pen­e­trated her with his fin­gers as she lay par­a­lyzed on a couch, un­able to tell him to stop. The 2004 en­counter at Mr. Cosby’s sub­ur­ban Philadel­phia es­tate was the only one to re­sult in crim­i­nal charges.

Ms. Con­stand, who worked at Mr. Cosby’s alma mater, Tem­ple Univer­sity, is ready to go to trial again.

“She’s a very spir­i­tual woman, she be­lieves things hap­pen for a pur­pose, and I think the pur­pose is … it should en­cour­age other women to come for­ward and have their day in court,” said her lawyer, Dolores Troiani.

Ms. Troiani ac­knowl­edged the dif­fi­culty of the case given the pas­sage of time and the im­pact of the al­leged drug­ging on Ms. Con­stand’s abil­ity to re­call de­tails.

The jury failed to reach a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion on any of the three counts against the co­me­dian, end­ing the trial with­out a ver­dict af­ter a long week of de­lib­er­a­tions.

Mr. Cosby’s team im­me­di­ately went on the at­tack.

Camille Cosby, the en­ter­tainer’s wife of 53 years, slammed pros­e­cu­tors for bring­ing the case to court, call­ing Mr. Steele “heinously and ex­ploitively am­bi­tious.” She also crit­i­cized the judge, the ac­cuser’s lawyers and the me­dia.

“How do I de­scribe the judge? Overtly ar­ro­gant, col­lab­o­rat­ing with the district at­tor­ney,” she said in her state­ment, which was tweeted by her hus­band and read by an as­so­ciate of the pub­lic re­la­tions firm rep­re­sent­ing Mr. Cosby. Mr. Cosby him­self didn’t com­ment. He re­mained stoic as the judge de­clared a mistrial, but his spokesman An­drew Wy­att de­clared the star’s “power is back. It has been re­stored.”

That seemed de­bat­able.

Mr. Cosby’s ca­reer and good-guy im­age were al­ready in tat­ters by the time his chief ac­cuser took the wit­ness stand, and the pros­e­cu­tion’s de­ci­sion to pur­sue a sec­ond trial keeps him in le­gal limbo.

Mr. Cosby had bro­ken bar­ri­ers as the first black ac­tor to star in a net­work show, “I Spy,” in the 1960s and, two decades later, he created the top-ranked “Cosby Show.” He also found suc­cess with his “Fat Al­bert” an­i­mated TV show and starred in com­mer­cials for Jell-O pud­ding.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A mistrial was de­clared in co­me­dian Bill Cosby’s sex­ual as­sault trial, but pros­e­cu­tor Kevin Steele vowed to retry the case in or­der to se­cure a con­vic­tion.

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