Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Culture | By Ray Hoffman

Cosby trial judge tells jury to deliberate as long as willing

Cosby trial judge tells jury to deliberate as long as willing

The woman at the center of the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial that has a jury deadlocked tweeted a video from the courthouse suggesting she feels pretty confident.

After deliberating for about 30 hours jurors told the judge they can't reach a verdict on any of the three counts against the 79-year old comedian.

O'Neill, in his instruction to the jury, reminded them it is their duty to deliberate "with a view to reaching agreement, if it can be done without violence to your individual judgment".

Judge Steve O'Neill sent the jury back.

The jury of seven men and five women have deliberated for almost 40 hours since getting the case Monday. After O'Neill's direction, jurors worked into the evening. After 31 hours of deliberations, jurors said they were deadlocked.

- Mixed verdict, finding guilty on some charges but not guilty on others.

These seven men and five women continue to work in a small room to determine if a man who was once one of the most famous in the world will stay a free man or become accustomed to Pennsylvania's penal system.

They were then finally escorted back to their hotel, where they have been sequestered since the trial began on June 5. Cosby is charged with drugging and molesting Constand at his home in 2004.

A hung jury could represent a clear victory for Cosby, allowing him to avoid what might have been years in prison for three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Stuart Slotnick, a NY criminal defense attorney who has been following the case, told USA Today, "A quick verdict will not be a good thing for Cosby".

Prosecutors are likely to argue that Cosby's wealth makes him a flight risk, while the defense will say he is a longstanding member of the community and a bond increase should suffice.

Legal experts said the trial fits the "he said, she said" arguments so common to sexual offense cases. Jurors also asked the court to define the phrase "without her knowledge" in one of the charges and asked to rehear testimony from the Cheltenham police detective who interviewed Cosby.

"You have a spokesman who is explaining to the media what a mistrial means - at least what he believes a mistrial is", O'Neill told Cosby in court. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, right, Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Kristen, center, and Bill Cosby's defense attorney Angela Agrusa enter the courtroom during jury deliberat.

The jury in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial has listened again to the actor's statements about giving Quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with.

Constand herself did not appear stressed in the courtroom as she waited for the jury.

There was no message included with the video, which was soundtracked with the Harlem Globetrotters theme, and no explanation for why there was a basketball hoop in the courthouse. A hung jury is possible and if that happens, the case will be a mistrial.

"We're into the 40th hour, and we can only imagine the emotional and physical toll this is taking on the jurors", Cosby's spokesman Andrew Wyatt told reporters outside the Montgomery County Courthouse before the group was dismissed.

Although the trial concerns only Constand's allegations, 60 women have publicly accused the legendary entertainer of being a serial sexual predator in remarkably similar accusations that span four decades. Prosecutors would have the option of seeking a retrial if the jury can not reach a verdict.

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