Bill Cosby’s trial on sexual-assault charges ended without a verdict Saturday after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision in a case that helped destroy the 79-year-old comedian’s image as “America’s Dad.”
“After 52 hours of deliberation — probably one of the most courageous acts I’ve ever seen — I’m compelled to grant a mistrial,” said Judge Steven O’Neill.
Jurors deliberated for more than 52 hours over six days before telling a judge they couldn’t agree on whether the Cosby Show star drugged and molested Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. The judge then declared a mistrial.
Prosecutors said they would retry Cosby, who remains charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
The comedian’s career and good-guy image were already in tatters by the time his chief accuser took the stand and described how Cosby gave her pills and then penetrated her with his fingers as she lay paralyzed on a couch, unable to tell him to stop.
But the jurors clearly struggled with their verdict, telling the judge on day four they were at an impasse. Judge O’Neill instructed them to keep working toward a unanimous decision. On Saturday, they came back and told O’Neill they were hopelessly deadlocked.
It was the only criminal case to arise from allegations raised by more than 60 women that cast Cosby — who’s been married for more than 50 years — as a serial predator who gave drugs to women before violating them.
Before going on trial, Cosby expressed hope he could eventually resume his career. But TV networks had long since scrapped plans for a comeback and pulled Cosby Show reruns from the air after his lurid deposition testimony became public.