Cosby prosecutor undeterred by mistrial
Comedian’s wife tears into court judge
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.
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.