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18 June 2017, 12:43 | Israel Caldwell
Bill Cosby faces retrial on sexual assault charges
Although Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial ended in a mistrial on Saturday, his legal problems persist as he faces assault and defamation claims in civil lawsuits, where the bar for evidence is lower than in criminal cases.
Cosby, who personified the model American family man in his long-running hit television show, was charged with aggravated indecent assault, which is a second-degree felony carrying a maximum penalty of five to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine. That includes witness testimony from Cosby's (current, out of the many women who have come forward over the years) accuser, Andrea Constand, who says the comedian raped her after drugging her in 2004, and Cosby's own description of the events from a deposition he gave in 2005.
But Constand is accusing Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her during one specific visit to his home sometime between mid-January and mid-February 2004.
Prosecutors announced they will retry the case.
After a lunch break, jurors are expected to rehear testimony from accuser Andrea Constand and her mother about phone calls with Cosby. She testified that the assault occurred in a visit to the home of Cosby, who was a Temple trustee, when she was 30 and he was 66.
Outside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Andrew Wyatt quoted a co-founder of the Black Panther Party and criticized Gloria Allred.
The jury is deliberating for a fifth day on Friday. "Overtly arrogant and collaborating with the district attorney".
Sixty women, including Constand, have accused Cosby of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them, or attempting to do so.
Meanwhile, Constand's attorneys are "confident that these proceedings have given a voice to the many victims who felt powerless and silenced", they said in a statement.
The jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on any of the three counts against the comedian, ending the trial without a verdict. According to the testimony, Cosby called himself a "sick man" but refused to identify the pills he gave to Constand.
The jurors clearly struggled with their verdict, telling the judge on Thursday they were at impasse.
As those accusers, including model Janice Dickinson and journalist Joan Tarshis, shared similar allegations, a series of public relations blunders cast a long shadow over the beleaguered Cosby.
Judge Steven O'Neill says defense lawyers have made at least four requests for a mistrial as the deliberations have worn on. "But justice will come." She added, "It's too early to celebrate, Mr. Cosby".
The two women who testified against Cosby must also determine whether they are willing to undergo another round of cross-examination.
"Do you agree that there is a hopeless deadlock that can not be resolved by further deliberations?" the judge asked each juror, who responded "yes".
Each jury deadlock announcement was met with a defense motion for a mistrial. The wire service released the document - in which Cosby admitted that he obtained quaaludes, a sedative, with the intent of giving the drug to women he wanted to have sex with.
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