June 17, 2017 Comments Off on Mistrial declared in Bill Cosby’s criminal trial as jury deadlocks
Mistrial declared in Bill Cosby’s criminal trial as jury deadlocks
By Ray Sanchez, Eric Levenson and Lawrence Crook III, CNN
Sat June 17, 2017
Prosecution plans to retry Cosby case
The judge in the Bill Cosby trial declared a mistrial Saturday after the jury failed to reach a verdict in the case. The jurors — five women and seven men — were unable to come to a unanimous decision in a courtroom battle closely watched by the public as well as dozens of women who have accused Cosby of similar misconduct in the past. Cosby faced three charges of aggravated indecent assault….
Prosecutors announced they will retry the case….
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents many of Cosby’s accusers, said she hopes the court will allow other “prior bad act witnesses” to testify at the next trial. “If the court allows more accusers to testify … it might make a difference. In other words, it’s too early to celebrate Mr. Cosby.”….
The three charges accuse Cosby of assaulting Constand without her consent, assaulting her when she was unconscious and assaulting her using drugs to impair her ability to consent. If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison for each charge.
Prosecutors called 12 witnesses, including Constand, over a week of testimony but presented almost no forensic evidence. Cosby declined to testify in his own defense, and his attorneys called only one witness. Cosby’s attorneys argued the sexual contact was consensual and worked to highlight inconsistencies in Constand’s testimony on cross-examination….
Though dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, only Constand’s accusations led to criminal charges. One other accuser, Kelly Johnson, testified during the trial as prosecutors sought to establish that Cosby had a pattern of assault. Johnson testified that she was drugged and assaulted by Cosby in 1996…..
But when speaking about her career plans one night at his home, the sweater-wearing actor known as “America’s Dad” gave her three blue pills that he said were herbal and would help her relax, she testified.
“Put them down, they’re your friends. They’ll take the edge off,” Cosby told her, she testified. “I said ‘I trust you.’ I took the pills and I swallowed the pills down.”
She began slurring her words and felt dizzy, and told Cosby so, she said. Shortly after, she became incapacitated and felt “frozen,” she testified.
Cosby then placed her on the couch and sexually assaulted her without her consent, she said.
She woke up on the couch early in the morning with her clothes disheveled, she said.
“I felt really humiliated and I was really confused,” she said through tears. “I just wanted to go home.”
Cosby lowered and shook his head in the courtroom as she spoke.
Gianna Constand, the accuser’s fiercely protective mother, testified that Cosby apologized over the phone to her and her daughter and offered to pay for her schooling. Cosby also declined to tell her what pills he had given Andrea Constand, but he did say they were from a prescription bottle, she testified….
Jurors did hear Cosby’s side of the story — but not in his voice. Prosecutors and police detectives read aloud portions of Cosby’s statements to police in 2005 and in a civil deposition in 2006. In those interviews, Cosby admitted to sexual contact with Constand and said they had previously had a romantic encounter.
He also said the pills he gave her were over-the-counter Benadryl, which he admitted can cause sleepiness.
In the civil deposition, Cosby admitted that he had previously obtained prescriptions for Quaaludes, a powerful sedative, with the intention of giving the drugs to women with whom he wanted to have sex.
Prosecutors say his prior use of Quaaludes shows that Cosby had knowledge of what he was doing when he gave her the pills…..
Constand initially told police about the alleged assault in January 2005, a year after she says it took place. The district attorney at the time declined to press charges, citing insufficient evidence. She sued Cosby in a civil suit and settled for an undisclosed amount in 2006.
In late 2014, dozens of women went public with accusations that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them over the course of his lengthy comedic career.
In July 2015, a judge unsealed Cosby’s deposition in that 2006 civil lawsuit. Cosby’s admissions in that deposition led Montgomery County prosecutors to file charges against him…..