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Deadlocked Cosby jury resumes deliberations on Friday

19 June 2017

The judge in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial in Pennsylvania ordered the jury to keep deliberating after they informed him late Thursday morning that they were deadlocked.

On Thursday jurors said they were having trouble reaching an unanimous verdict on any of the three charges facing the 79-year-old entertainer for allegedly sexually assaulting college administrator Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004, after giving her pills she said left her unable to thwart his advances.

Judge Steve O'Neill sent the jury back.

After three days and 28 hours of debate, the group had asked to revisit almost every critical piece of evidence from the trial that began almost two weeks ago - ranging from Cosby's 2005 deposition and police statement, in which he denied drugging and molesting the case's central accuser, Andrea Constand, to Constand's own recollections of the 2004 night she said he attacked her.

Bill Cosby shakes hands with his lawyer Brian McMonagle as they leave the Montgomery County Courthouse during Cosby's sexual assault trial, Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Norristown, Pa.

Dozens of women have come forward to say Cosby had drugged and assaulted them, but this was the only case to result in criminal charges.

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Cosby has been charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault.

If Cosby is convicted, even on one count, prosecutors will probably petition for his $1 million bail to be overturned so that he be taken into custody immediately. After the declaration of a mistrial, prosecutors may choose to retry the case with a different set of jurors, or they may cut their losses.

"This is an incredible jury that has just acted with incredible dignity and fidelity", O'Neill said. He is accused of sexually assaulting the then 31-year-old Constand in January 2004 inside his Elkins Park home.

They appear to have been drilling down into the testimony, asking the judge to re-read statements from Constand and the police, as well as Cosby's original deposition in 2005, in order to compare the he-said, she-said allegations.

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

The jurors have come back six different times with questions since they began deliberating.Most of their questions have been to ask for significant portions of evidence and testimony to be read back to them, including parts of Constand's testimony.

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The case has already helped demolish his image as America's Dad, cultivated during his eight-year run as kindly Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-rated "The Cosby Show" in the 1980s and '90s.

"It's a very, very rare occasion that a judge is going to let a jury off the hook on the first indication they're hopelessly deadlocked", Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer Ed Paskey told The Washington Post.

They also asked the judge to again explain the meaning of "reasonable doubt". After 31 hours of deliberations, jurors said they were deadlocked.

Even as his attorney demanded a mistrial, Cosby himself thanked jurors for "their long days" and "their honest work, individually".

Testifying for more than seven hours last week, Constand denied there was any romance between them and told jurors she had rebuffed his advances before the assault. "If she insists, that could hold some weight", he said.

"You've sent word: You're exhausted", said Judge Steven O'Neill, dismissing the panel until Wednesday morning. He has said it was Benadryl, a cold and allergy medicine.

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