The initial sexual assault case against TV legend Bill Cosby has ended in a mistrial.
After five full days of deliberation, a Pennsylvania jury remained deadlocked, and was unable to reach a verdict on any of the three felony counts of second-degree aggravated indecent assault against the former Cosby Show star. According to the Montgomery County DA, Cosby remains free on bail, but the case will be retried at a later date.
All three felony counts were in connection with a 2004 incident between Cosby and Andrea Constand, who took the stand to testify that Cosby drugged and raped her at his Philadelphia mansion. Had the jury reached a guilty verdict, Cosby, now 79 years old, could have faced up to 10 years in prison.
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The trial, which began June 5, not only saw testimony from Constand, but also from fellow Cosby accuser Kelly Johnson, who alleged that Cosby drugged and raped her back in 1996. (More than 50 women have come forward in recent years accusing Cosby of sexual assault.) The prosecution also played a recorded phone call between Cosby and Constand’s mother, in which Cosby promised to “set something up” for Constand financially — a promise that district attorney Kevin Steele pointed to as evidence of “consciousness of guilt.”
Cosby’s defense attorneys rested their case after less than an hour; Cosby himself was rumored to be testifying, but ultimately chose not to take the stand. His lawyers argued in their closing statement that Constand’s story was inconsistent, and her encounter with Cosby was consensual.
Constand previously sued Cosby in civil court in 2005, a case that ended with her receiving an undisclosed cash settlement.