Pennsylvania prosecutors vowed to retry comedian Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges after a jury on Saturday failed to render a unanimous verdict despite 52 hours of deliberations in a case that echoed accusations made by dozens of women against him.
Judge Steven O’Neill, of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, declared a mistrial on Saturday morning following a note from jurors saying that they were hopelessly deadlocked on three counts of aggravated sexual assault. The result was a victory for Cosby, 79, who had faced years in prison for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting college administrator Andrea Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. But prosecutors immediately said they would seek a second trial, which O’Neill suggested could start within four months.
“She’s entitled to a verdict in this case,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said at a news conference.
Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, told reporters that the trial’s outcome had “restored” his client’s legacy. But Cosby’s reputation remains in tatters, following a slew of sexual assault allegations from about 60 women that have destroyed the “America’s dad” image he built as star of the long-running 1980s TV comedy The Cosby Show. Constand’s claim was the only one to lead to criminal charges, with many of the others dating too far back to allow for prosecution. The entertainer had no visible reaction in court. As news reporters streamed out of the room, several other Cosby accusers, some in tears, waited in line to hug Constand, who smiled broadly and maintained her composure.