NORRISTOWN, Pa., June 17, 2017 — Actor Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial has ended in a mistrial. Montgomery District Attorney Kevin Steele, who tried the case against Cosby, was unable to win a guilty verdict when jurors failed to break a deadlock.
Andrea Constand accused Cosby of drugging and raping her at his Pennsylvania Mansion in 2004. She was working at the time as director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University in Philadelphia. Constand alleges that Cosby incapacitated her with blue pills and then molested her while she drifted in and out of consciousness.
Cosby does not deny the encounter, admitting in a deposition that he gave Constand the pills. However, the Defence says that Cosby and Constand were lovers sharing a consensual sexual encounter.
In May 2016, after dozens of women raised similar claims and a sealed deposition in a 2006 civil lawsuit brought by Constand was made public, District Judge Elizabeth McHugh ruled there was sufficient evidence to bring Cosby to trial. Cosby had previously settled a civil lawsuit for an undisclosed sum after testifying about his extramarital affairs, his use of sedative drug Quaaludes to seduce women and his efforts to hide payments to former lovers from his wife.
Stating that Constand deserved a verdict, Steele said that despite the loss, prosecutors should take on the tough cases and that taking Cosby to trial, and now retrial, is the right thing to do for sexual assault victims everywhere.
“We will evaluate and review our case … and we will retry it. We will move this case forward as soon as possible. There are some good outcomes. Despite the fact that the jury could not come to a unanimous decision, our bad actor witness Andrea Constand was able to confront the defendant,” said Steele. “The other part is standing up for sexual assault victims. This has been a case about standing up for sexual assault victims everywhere.”
Jurors deliberated for more than 52 hours over six days before telling a judge they couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on whether “The Cosby Show” star drugged and molested Constand.
Cosby, who will be 80 in July of this year, was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault. At this time, the Pennsylvania case is the only one to result in criminal charges against Cosby.
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