NORRISTOWN, Pa. — A judge declared a mistrial Saturday in Bill Cosby‘s sex assault trial after jurors failed to reach a verdict on the sixth day of deliberations.
The jury of seven men and five women deadlocked after about 52 hours of deliberations that began June 12. It first announced they were deadlocked Thursday.
“This jury is hopelessly deadlocked,” Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill said after questioning each juror in turn about the impasse, adding, “This is not a victory for anyone.
Cosby, 79, faced up to 30 years in prison on three charges of aggravated indecent assault.
He was accused of drugging and molesting former Temple University basketball manager Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.
Prosecutors quickly said they will retry Cosby, prompting gasps from the courtroom.
Cosby faced up to 30 years – or 10 years on each count – if convicted.
“I don’t know what the commonwealth’s reaction will be. But remember, if you speak up, you could be chilling the justice system,” O’Neill cautioned the jurors, warning them not to speak publicly about their deliberations.
The jurors, chosen from Allegheny County, have been sequestered for the duration of the trial in Montgomery County, nearly 300 miles away.
Cosby sat stone-faced as the jury was brought back into the courtroom Saturday, and looked down, scowling as O’Neill declared a mistrial in the case, while Constand held her head high.
Before declaring the mistrial, O’Neill had questioned each of the jurors in turn, asking, “Do you agree that there is a hopeless deadlock that cannot be resolved by further deliberations?”
Each answered yes.
He later praised their efforts, telling them,”You should be proud of the job you have performed.”
The bombshell determination comes after the jury informed O’Neill Thursday they were deadlocked on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
The various counts pertain to Cosby “administering the intoxicant,” Constand’s unconscious state, and her “lack of consent.”
The mistrial follows a whirlwind six-day trial, in which Constand took the stand and, in graphic detail, described the night in question. The retrial could take place within 120 days, but that time frame could be extended, according to the DA’s office.
“I was jolted conscious, jolted awake, and I felt Mr. Cosby’s hand groping my breasts, under my shirt,” she recalled. “I felt his hand inside my vagina, moving in and out. And I felt him take my hand, place it on his penis and move it back and forth.”
“Did you ask him to stop?” asked Montgomery County prosecutor Kristen Feden.
“I wasn’t able to,” Constand said, adding her body was “limp” and she couldn’t move her limbs.
The assault occurred after “America’s Dad” offered the then-31-year-old three unidentified pills to help her “relax.” Cosby now claims they were Benadryl, though that night — when Constand asked if they were “herbal” — nodded yes, she said.
Constand said the married comedian had touched her on two previous occasions — once putting his hand on her thigh, and another time unbuttoning her pants and making for her zipper before she leaned forward to stop him.
Cosby’s defense team attempted to convince the jury Cosby and Constand had been involved in an ongoing, consensual sexual relationship–which included various trysts and cuddling at the Foxwoods Casino.
Jurors also heard testimony from another accuser, Kelly Johnson, who alleges Cosby forced her to take a “large white pill” in a Bel Air bungalow in 1996.
“I thought I would hold the pill under my tongue and then go to the restroom to spit it out,” Johnson said on June 5. Yet Cosby insisted she “lift up her tongue,” and then pressured her to swallow the pill.
She next recalled Cosby putting lotion in her hand and placing it on his penis — and hearing the embattled funnyman grunting behind her.
Johnson’s mom testified as a character witness, as did Constand’s — who told jurors Cosby admitted over the phone he was a “sick man.”
“He said, ‘But don’t worry, Mom. There was no penile penetration, just digital penetration,” Gianna Constand said the comedian told her over the phone after she called to confront him following her daughter’s outcry in Jan. 2005, a year after the incident.
The actor sickly boasted, “Oh, Mom, she even had an orgasm,” she told the panel.
Jurors also heard how Cosby — who was open about his sexual preferences during a four-day deposition taken in 2005-‘06 as part of Constand’s civil case against him — didn’t take Viagra and didn’t like intercourse.
“I never intended to have full intercourse, like naked bodies, with Andrea,” said Cosby, who was 66 at the time of the incident. “I don’t like it. I like the petting, the touching.”
In that same deposition, he admitted to using Quaaludes, a strong sedative, with women he wanted to have sex with. He later clarified it was just one “woman.”
Cosby’s interview with police was also read into the record where he said he never had intercourse with Constand while she was “asleep or awake,” and made other eerie statements about their encounters, saying he used his hands to scope out the areas between “permission and rejection.”
While Cosby refused to the take the stand throughout the trial, he frequently betrayed/expressed himself from the defense table — often cracking disturbing smiles as witnesses colorfully recounted play-by-plays of his alleged assaults.
Prosecutors frequently used the comic’s words against him throughout the trial, with DA Kevin Steele telling jurors during closings to “Look very, very closely at his words. They are all that matter.”
Defense attorneys Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa focused their defense on inconsistencies in Constand’s statements, which variously placed the assault in March or Jan. 2004.
She has since said she was “mistaken,” and the purported assault happened in January.
“This is their evidence, that they gave you,” McMonagle screamed at the jury during his closings. “This is why this case went into a trash can.”
Cosby initially dodged criminal charges in 2005 when Constand first reported the assault to police. Then-Montgomery County DA Bruce Castor felt the case was too weak to prosecute and Constand filed a civil lawsuit against Cosby.
As part of that case, Cosby recorded a deposition over four days in 2005-06 in which he admitted to plying women with Quaaludes before having sex with them and that he’d slept with Constand.
The damning deposition was unsealed in 2015, prompting prosecutors reopen the criminal case.
Cosby was arrested on charges he assaulted Constand a year later – just days before the statute of limitations was set to run out.
A judge later ruled that portions of the deposition could be used against him.
About 60 other women have lodged similar allegations that they were drugged and raped by Cosby and some have pending civil suits against him.
In various depositions, Cosby admitted that he kept his affairs a secret from his long-suffering wife Camille, to whom he’s been married for 53 years.
Camille had vocally defended him against the mountain of sex assault accusations – but appeared by his side for just one day during his trial, when the defense’s case began.
Meanwhile, several Cosby accusers held vigil throughout the duration of the trial, including Linda Kirkpatrick, Therese Serignese, Victoria Valentino and Lili Bernard.