Cosby Jury Deadlocks; Judge Orders Further Deliberations

Jun 15, 2017
Originally published on June 15, 2017 12:30 pm

After more than 30 hours of jury deliberations, there is still no conclusion to the sexual assault trial of comedian Bill Cosby.

The members of the jury say they are deadlocked and "cannot come to a unanimous consensus on any of these counts." The judge has ordered jurors to return to deliberations and try — again — to reach a decision.

Cosby has been charged with multiple felony counts of aggravated indecent assault, over allegations that he drugged and molested Andrea Constand, then a Temple University employee, in 2004.

The prosecution spent a week presenting its case, and the defense less than a day. Cosby did not testify.

The jury deliberations have stretched across four days. Seven times, the jury returned to the judge with questions, asking to rehear portions of the testimony or asking for clarification on the language in a charge.

On Thursday morning, the jurors told the judge they were deadlocked. Judge Steven O'Neill gave them instructions to try again, issuing a "dynamite charge" or "Allen charge," intended to motivate an uncertain jury to reach a decision.

If convicted, Cosby, 79, could spend the rest of his life in prison: He has been charged with three second-degree felony counts, and each carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison.

Constand is not the only woman who says Cosby raped or sexually assaulted her. Dozens of women have come forward over the past several years, with stories that echo one another. But in most of those cases, the statute of limitations had expired by the time the women came forward. Constand's case was the exception.

Cosby's defense team argues that the encounter was consensual and "romantic," while prosecutors say it was one assault within a larger pattern of drugging and sexually assaulting women.

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