Deadlocked Cosby jury still seeking verdict

Maryclaire Dale and Michael R. Sisak
Associated Press

Norristown, Pa. — Four days after getting the case, deadlocked jurors in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial struggled to end their impasse Thursday on charges he drugged and molested a woman in 2004, the prospect of a mistrial growing larger even as the judge directed them to keep talking.

The jurors had deliberated about 30 hours before telling Judge Steven O’Neill they couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on any of the counts against the 79-year-old comedian. The judge told them to try again for a verdict.

As evening fell, the panel of seven men and five women was still at it, poised for another marathon session in a case that has already helped torpedo Cosby’s career and nice-guy reputation.

The charges involve Cosby’s sexual encounter with Andrea Constand, 44, at his suburban Philadelphia home. Constand says Cosby gave her pills that made her woozy, then violated her. His lawyer says Cosby and Constand were lovers sharing a consensual moment of intimacy.

Cosby’s spokesman maintained the impasse showed that jurors doubted Constand’s story.

“They’re conflicted about the inconsistencies in Ms. Constand’s testimony,” spokesman Andrew Wyatt said. “And they’re hearing Mr. C.’s testimony, and he’s extremely truthful. And that’s created this doubt.”

Constand’s lawyer, Dolores Troiani, said only that the “jury is apparently working very hard.” The district attorney’s office declined to comment.

The 12-member jury must come to a unanimous decision to convict or acquit. If the panel can’t break the deadlock, the judge could declare a hung jury and a mistrial. In that case, prosecutors would get four months to decide whether they want to retry the TV star or drop the charges.