Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case has ended in a mistrial.
After six days of deliberation, the seven men and five women selected to serve on the jury were unable to render a unanimous verdict on any of the three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault with which Cosby had been charged.
As a result, the comedian, who pleaded not guilty, was able to walk out of court a free man.
Kevin R. Steel, the district attorney from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, who brought the charges, could choose to retry the case, but prosecutors are unlikely to do so right away, according to a spokeswoman for the D.A.’s office.
After more than 40 hours of discussion, the jury told the judge that they were deadlocked, and he ordered them to continue deliberations.
During the week-long trial, Cosby, 79, never took the stand, but excerpts from his 2005 to 2006 depositions in a civil suit brought on by Constand were read aloud.
The defense called only one witness — a detective — to the stand, while Constand, her mother, another accuser Kelly Johnson and others testified last week for the prosecution.
Cosby’s wife, Camille Cosby, attended the trial for the first time on Monday.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele closed the prosecution’s case on Monday by describing Cosby as a calculating sexual predator, who not only drugged and assaulted Constand in 2004, but also recast the attack as consensual and romantic.
Cosby’s attorney Brian McMonagle delivered a dramatic closing argument, highlighting Constand’s inconsistencies and those of Johnson.
Constand, 44, testified for seven hours over the course of two days last week, telling the jury that in 2004, Cosby gave her a drug at his home in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, that rendered her unable to stop his alleged assaults.
“In my head I was trying to get my hands to move or my legs to move, but I was frozen and those [mental] messages didn’t get there and I was very limp, so I wasn’t able to fight him,” she said. “I wanted it to stop.”
According to portions of Cosby’s deposition, he gave Constand Benadryl to “relax” her during a consensual sexual encounter.
“I wanted her to be comfortable and relaxed and be able to go to sleep after our necking session,” he said.
The jury also heard quotes from Cosby’s deposition about his use of Quaaludes in the 1970s. Cosby admitted to giving the prescription sedative to multiple women with whom he wanted to have sex, and said that he didn’t take the drug himself. But he did not admit to giving Quaaludes to anyone without their knowledge.
Cosby has denied any wrongdoing in other accusations.
SOURCE: CHRIS FRANCESCANI, JOI-MARIE MCKENZIE, LINSEY DAVIS, LUCHINA FISHER, LESLEY MESSER, MICHAEL ROTHMAN