Southeastern PA

Judge declares mistrial in Cosby sex assault case after jury deadlocked

DA says he will retry case: "This is a do-over"

Judge declares mistrial in Cosby sex...

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - After six days of deliberation, Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial has ended in a mistrial.

The jury was "hopelessly deadlocked" on all three counts against Cosby, and could not come to a unanimous decision.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said he'll retry Cosby on charges he drugged and molested Andrea Constand in 2004.

"Our plan is to move this case forward as soon as possible," Steele said. "(Constand) deserves a verdict in this case."

Legally, prosecutors have one year to retry the case, but the judge said he would like to get the trial back on within 120 days.

Steele said a retrial will essentially be starting over, although they do expect the same judge to preside over the case.

The judge instructed jurors they are not allowed to disclose any conversations, votes or comments made during the 52-hour deliberation.

After the announcement, Constand's attorney said Constand is ready to testify against Cosby again.

"Women who are in this position have got to know they can come forward, that they will be heard and that justice will be done. Sometimes justice takes a little bit longer," she said.

Cosby appeared outside the courthouse shortly after with his defense attorneys, spokesperson and wife.

"The jury stuck to what they were asked to do, and that is review the evidence before them and there simply wasn't enough," said one of his attorneys.

Cosby's wife, Camille, slammed prosecutors, calling the district attorney "heinously and exploitively ambitious" in a statement.

Cosby will remain free on $1 million bail.

Day-by-day trial recap

The trial began Monday, June 5, when prosecutor Stewart Ryan questioned former talent agency assistant Kelly Johnson who testified about an incident with Cosby that included taking a pill.

Johnson testified that he offered her a white pill, which he made her take.

Cosby's defense tried to exploit that there was doubt whether the visit took place in 1990 or 1996.

On the second day of the trial, Andrea Constand took the stand.

She told the jury that Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted her in his home in January 2004.

Constand stepped down from the witness stand on day three, and was followed by her mother Gianna Constand.

Gianna Constand told the jury that Cosby and her daughter had been close, and that he betrayed her.

She testified that she spoke with Cosby for two hours immediately after she learned of the assault, which Andrea did not mention until a year later.

Gianna Constand also testified that Cosby described the encounter through their phone conversations.

During her cross examination, she deflected many questions and defense lawyer Angela Agrusa pressed her about a second call from Cosby which she hid.

On day four, Sgt. Richard Schaffer of the Cheltenham Township Police Department read statements he took from Constand and Cosby in 2005 after Constand brought her complaint to authorities.

Shaffer said Cosby told him that he did not have sex with Constand at any point in time, and that they engaged in "petting" during the night in question.

Cosby told Schaffer that when Constand arrived at his house, she complained of feeling ill, so he gave her Benadryl pills to help her sleep.

According to Cosby's account, he and Constand began kissing, and he fondled her body, all while she was conscious.

During Schaffer's cross-examination, lead defense attorney Brian McMonagle zeroed in on discrepancies in Constand's accounts regarding the date of the incident, while also noting that she crossed out sentences in her sworn statement. 

The prosecution called Veronique Valliere to the stand on the fifth day of the trial.

Valliere, a sexual assault expert, described the usual and unusual patterns of a sexual assault victim.

During her cross-examination, McMonagle exposed that Valliere was biased, and had previously expressed interest in the case through Facebook posts and comments.

Cosby's lawyers motioned for a mistrial, but were denied by Judge Steven T. O'Neill.

After that, the prosecutors closed their case Friday.

Cosby's wife, Camille, joined him in court on day six, where the defense opened its case.

Cosby said he would not testify in his own defense after discussing it with his lawyers.

The defense rested after a single, six-minute appearance by a detective.

In his closing statement, McMonagle said Constand had too many inconsistencies, making her an unreliable witness.

Prosecutors also gave their closing arguments Monday afternoon where it was argued Cosby’s statements to police and a civil suit deposition were an admission of guilt backed up by testimony straight from accuser Andrea Constand and witness Kelly Johnson.

Jurors deliberated Monday evening until about 9:30 p.m. when the judge sent them home.

Deliberations continued all day Tuesday, during which the jury had multiple questions for the judge.

Jurors continued deliberating for a third day Wednesday, asking to review part of Constand's testimony. Jurors also requested to re-hear testimony from the police detective about when Constand reported the incident to police.

On day four of deliberations, the jury told the judge they were deadlocked on all three charges. The judge instructed them to keep deliberating.

Friday, jurors had multiple questions and requests to rehear testimony. The defense repeatedly demanded a mistrial, but the judge said there was no precedent to shut down the jury’s talks.

Cosby, attorneys, jurors and the judge returned to the courthouse Saturday at 9 a.m. Shortly after, the judge announced the jury was deadlocked and declared a mistrial. District Attorney Steele announced he plans to retry Cosby on the same charges.


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