No verdict yet in Cosby trial after 1-1/2 days of jury deliberations
The jury deciding Bill Cosby’s fate at his sexual assault trial adjourned on Tuesday after 16 hours of deliberations over 1-1/2 days failed to produce a verdict.
The jurors in Norristown, Pennsylvania, reviewed the entertainer’s account as well as that of his accuser during a long day on Tuesday. Several members of the jury of seven men and five women looked exhausted as they filed into court around 9:20 p.m. to be dismissed for the night.
Earlier in the day, the jury had asked to rehear the testimony of a police officer who was present in 2005 when Andrea Constand first reported the 2004 incident and reviewed portions of sworn depositions that Cosby gave more than a decade ago.
Cosby, 79, best known for his role as the dad in the 1980s hit TV family comedy “The Cosby Show,” is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Constand at his home in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Constand is one of dozens of women who have accused Cosby of sex abuse, often after plying them with drugs, in a series of incidents dating to the 1960s. The allegation by Constand, a former athletic administrator at Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University, is the only one not too old to be the subject of criminal prosecution.
Cosby has denied all the accusations.
In addition to revisiting testimony, the jury also asked Judge Steven O’Neill to clarify how to determine whether Cosby gave Constand an intoxicant “without her knowledge,” an element of one of the charges he faces.
O’Neill said he could not provide any interpretation beyond his initial instructions on the charges.
Both Constand, now 44, and Cosby agree the performer gave her pills on the night in question.
Constand, however, testified that she took them only after Cosby intimated they were herbal and that the drugs left her unable to resist his assault.
In his depositions, Cosby said the pills were Benadryl, a common allergy drug whose side effects can include drowsiness, and maintained the subsequent sexual encounter was consensual.
Cosby, who based his long career on a family-friendly comedy style, did not testify.
In his closing argument on Monday, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said Cosby’s words incriminated him, noting that the defendant apologized to Constand and her mother and offered to pay for Constand’s schooling after her mother confronted him.
Defense attorney Brian McMonagle told jurors on Monday that Cosby was guilty of adultery but not sexual assault.
The defense focused on inconsistencies in Constand’s statements about certain details of the alleged assault and pointed out that she remained in contact with Cosby for months afterward.
Cosby’s attorneys sought to portray her as a woman whose allegations were motivated by money. She settled her lawsuit against Cosby in 2006 for an undisclosed sum, though jurors did not hear about that case.
Also on Tuesday, Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, released a statement from a woman, Marguerite Jackson, who was barred from testifying as a defense witness.
Jackson said she worked with Constand at Temple University and shared a hotel room with her during occasional trips. On an unspecified date, she said, the women saw a news story about a famous man accused of drugging and sexually assaulting women.
Constand told Jackson a high-profile man had done something similar to her, according to the statement. After Jackson pressed her, Constand admitted it had not happened but said she could easily use the story to make money off the man, Jackson said.
Cosby’s spokesman, Wyatt, said Jackson’s statement would “let the world know” that Constand had perjured herself. Constand testified at trial that she did not know who Marguerite Jackson was.
The judge ruled Jackson’s testimony was inadmissible hearsay.
(Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Trott)
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