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Mistrial declared in Cosby sexual assault trial

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2017 | Sex Crimes

A previous blog post discussed the prosecution’s case in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial. Pennsylvania residents may remember that at trial, Cosby faced accusations of drugging and molesting a former Temple University employee. Cosby admitted to making sexual advances but claimed that he was falsely accused because the sexual encounters were consensual. The prosecution rested after five days and the introduction of Cosby’s 2005 civil deposition.

The defense called only one witness, a detective who gave a brief testimony regarding his 2005 investigation. Cosby chose not to take the stand. The jury of seven men and five women deliberated and after 52 hours, remained deadlocked. The jury members were selected from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and were sequestered in Montgomery County during the trial and deliberations.

According to ABC News, a juror revealed that there were a few immovable jurors that refused to convict Cosby. The three charges Cosby faced were sexually assaulting the Temple University woman without her consent, giving the woman drugs, thereby impairing her ability to consent to sexual advances and sexually assaulting the woman while she was unconscious.

All but two of the jurors wanted to convict Cosby for engaging in sexual acts with the woman without consent and for impairing the woman’s ability to resist by giving her an intoxicant. Only one of the jurors believed that the woman was unconscious or semi-conscious at the time of the assault. After 30 hours, the jury reported a deadlock but the judge invoked a “dynamite charge”, ordering them to keep attempting to reach a unanimous decision.

Despite their efforts, the jury could not reach a unanimous decision and the vote was 11-1 for acquittal. The judge finally declared a mistrial after 52 hours of deliberation. Cosby could have faced up to 10 years in prison for each charge. Prosecutors say they plan to retry Cosby in the next few months.

Source: TIME, Two Jurors Blocked a Guilty Verdict in Bill Cosby’s Trial, One Member of the Jury Says, June 21, 2017