Bill Cosby sexual assault trial ends in mistrial for US comedian-actor | News | DW | 18.06.2017
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Bill Cosby sexual assault trial ends in mistrial for US comedian-actor

The jury deliberated for more than 52 hours over six days but was hopelessly deadlocked on Cosby's guilt or innocence. The judge declared a mistrial, but prosecutors quickly vowed to retry the case before another jury.

A US judge declared a mistrial Saturday in the sexual assault trial of comedian-actor Bill Cosby after the jury deadlocked on a verdict.

Within minutes prosecutors announced they would retry the case against the 79-year-old. District Attorney Kevin Steele said Andrea Constand, who accused Cosby of sexual assault, was "entitled to a verdict in this case."

Cosby's defense team convened an impromptu press conference on the steps of the courthouse. An unidentified lawyer said prosecutors failed to back their case with sufficient evidence, "Today was very important… Juries are stuck when a prosecutor seeks to put someone in prison for things that are simply not presented in the court room."

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Jurors in Cosby trial begin deliberations

She added, "The jury stuck to the evidence that was brought into the courtroom, and it simply was not enough."

After 52 hours of deliberations over six days, the jury declared it was hopelessly deadlocked on sexual assault charges filed against him.

Although more than 50 women have come forward to tell comparable stories of being drugged and then sexually assaulted by one of America's most famous entertainers, the court trial came down to the allegations of one woman.

Constand, 44, was an employee of Temple University in Philadelphia in 2004 when, she claims, Cosby drugged her and sexually assaulted her in his suburban home.

Despite the lack of a verdict in this case, Cosby is still engaged in a legal battle for defamation or sexual battery with 10 women across the USA.

A hung jury

The jury announced that they were deadlocked after four days of deliberation, but the judge told them to keep trying to reach a verdict. However, jurors remained divided after two more days, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial.

After the hung jury was announced, Cosby's wife Camile issued a blistering statement condemning prosecutors and the media for trying to ruin her husband and his reputation.

"The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to love, is the man you all know through his work," she said. "A different man has been portrayed in the media over the past two months. It is the portrait of a man I do not know."

Cosby was facing three counts of aggravated indecent assault and could have spent the rest of his life in prison if convicted.

Constand had filed an unsuccessful civil lawsuit against Cosby more than a decade ago. As part of that trial, Cosby gave a deposition that was supposed to remain sealed. But a judge ruled the deposition could be released.

It would be the lynchpin of the prosecution's argument. In it, Cosby admitted that he had obtained prescriptions for the now-banned sedative quaaludes in the 1970s, and gave them to women he wanted to have sex with.

bik/sms (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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