Courtroom drama

With Cosby jury hopelessly deadlocked, judge declares mistrial

Bill Cosby holds up the hand of his defense attorneys Angela Agrusa as he exits the courthouse after been declared mistrial on the sixth day of jury deliberations of his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 17, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania (EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The judge presiding over Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pennsylvania, declared a mistrial on Saturday when jurors said they were unable to reach a verdict after deliberating for more than 50 hours. Judge Steven O’Neill made the decision after the jury spent 52 hours over six days and were unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Jurors told O’Neill on Saturday morning that they were hopelessly deadlocked. After declaring the mistrial, O’Neill told lawyers for both sides that “a mistrial is neither vindication nor victory for anybody.”

Cosby faced multiples sexual assault charges from a 2004 incident with Andrea Constand in which she accused the comedian of incapacitating her with drugs and then digitally penetrating her without consent. Cosby’s team, however, declared victory for the 79-year-old disgraced comedy legend. “Mr. Cosby’s power is back. It has been restored,” his spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, told reporters. Cosby’s wife of 53 years, Camille, also had choice words for the judge and prosecution. “How do I describe the judge?” she said in a written statement. “Overtly arrogant, collaborating with the district attorney.” Of the District Attorney Kevin Steele, Camille Cosby said, he is “heinously and exploitively ambitious.”

Meanwhile, Steele vowed to retry Cosby and is hoping a new trial will be convened within 120 days. He said that Constand “has shown such courage through this, and we are in awe of what she has done. She’s entitled to a verdict in this case.”

Cosby has had similar allegations leveled at him by more than 50 women in incidents stretching back decades. One of his other accusers when the mistrial was declared, NBC News reported. Jewel Allison, a New York City-based poet and former model, has said Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her nearly 30 years ago in his Manhattan apartment. On the steps of the courthouse, she spoke to reporters and expressed disappointment in the outcome, saying that it wasn’t what she expected based on the evidence presented in court. But she suggested that no matter the outcome, Cosby was being punished for his alleged deeds. “He walked out but the bars were all around him,” Allison said. “He’s mobile, but the jail goes with him wherever he goes.”

“I’m praying for his salvation. He can come to my church anytime,” Allison said, and with a chuckle, reportedly added, “We’ll dip him in the water.”

Read the full story at The Associated Press.

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