The trial of Bill Cosby, in which “Amercia’s Dad” was accused of aggravated indecent assault, ended in a mistrial today after a Pennsylvania jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision. The outcome leaves one of America’s most recognized entertainers as well as his accusers without vindication, but prosecutors immediately announced they will retry the case.
About an hour into the sixth day of deliberations, Judge Steven O’Neill declared the jury of seven men and five woman hopelessly deadlocked in a legal battle closely watched by the public as well as dozens of women who have accused Cosby of similar misconduct in the past.
“Do not feel like you’ve let the justice system down,” O’Neill told the jurors, who labored for more than 53 hours and asked 12 questions of the court during deliberations.
Addressing Cosby, who appeared stoic and calm at the inconclusive end of his trial, O’Neill said: “It’s not a failure or a victory,”
Outside court, Cosby, 79, did not speak, but a member of his press team read a scathing statement from his wife, Camille, blasting the prosecution, judge and media:
“How do I describe the District Attorney? Heinously and exploitively ambitious. How do I describe the judge? Overtly and arrogantly collaborating with the District Attorney. How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? Totally unethical. How do I describe many, but not all, general media? Blatantly vicious entities that continually disseminated intentional omissions of truths for the primary purpose of greedily selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life.”
Angela Agrusa, a member of Cosby’s legal team, also took aim at the prosecution.
“Juries are stuck when a prosecutor seeks to put someone in prison for things that are simply not presented in the courtroom,” she said.
“And the jury stuck to what they were asked to do and that is to review the evidence before them and there simply wasn’t enough.”
At a news conference, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said prosecutors will “evaluate and review our case” and retry Cosby.
“Our plan is to move this case forward as soon as possible,” he said.
He expressed disappointment over the mistrial, praised the “extraordinary sacrifices’ of the jury and said one of the “good outcomes” of the trial was that two Cosby accusers “got to face the defendant in court.”
Steele said Andrea Constand, the woman who accused Cosby of drugging and assaulting her, would not be speaking to the media. He praised her courage.
“We are just in awe of what she has done,” Steele said. The decision to retry Cosby “lies in the fact that she’s entitled to a verdict in this case.”
The judge said he would try to schedule a new trial within 120 days.