Verdict eludes jury in Bill Cosby caseNORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania - Bill Cosby, the comedian and actor once known as “America’s Dad” for his TV role as paternal Dr. Cliff Huxtable, avoided a conviction on Father’s Day weekend as a jury declared itself hopelessly deadlocked on charges he drugged and molested a woman more than a decade ago.
Prosecutors found themselves back to square one Saturday after the judge declared a mistrial following more than 52 hours of deliberations over six days.
Excoriated by the defense for charging Cosby in the first place, District Attorney Kevin Steele vowed to put him on trial 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,” Steele said. “She’s entitled to a verdict in this case.”
Cosby’s team declared victory, however temporary.
By sowing doubt among one or more jurors, 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.
Constand told jurors 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 was the only one to result in criminal charges.
Constand is ready to go to trial again, said her lawyer, Dolores Troiani.
The jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on any of the three counts against the comedian, ending the trial without a verdict. Cosby’s team immediately went on the attack.
The entertainer’s wife of 53 years, Camille, slammed prosecutors for bringing the case to court, calling Steele “heinously and exploitively ambitious.”
The comedian’s civil lawyers are still fighting lawsuits against him by 10 women around the country.