Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill declared a mistrial in the criminal court case against Bill Cosby on Saturday after jurors said they were deadlocked after 52 hours of deliberations. Prosecutors said they will retry the case, NBC News reports.
Camille Cosby, the legendary comedian’s wife, released an explosive statement lambasting the judge, while other accusers said they are ready for a second round of trial, which could start within four months.
The 79-year-old star is charged with drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, at his home in suburban Philadelphia in January 2004. It’s the only criminal case stemming from dozens of allegations of sexual misconduct, all of which Cosby repeatedly denies.
Constand stated that she was “paralyzed” by pills given to her by Cosby. However, the actor claimed it was just Benadryl and that the encounter was consensual. She spent seven hours on the stand, and was questioned about apparent inconsistencies in her accounts to police, including the date of the incident and how much time she had spent alone with Cosby.
The Cosby Show star did not take the stand, but his lawyers insisted that the physical contact was mutual and grilled Constand as to why she kept in phone contact with Cosby after the alleged incident, which she did not report to the police for a year. Prosecutors rejected the charges back then, but reopened the case two and a half years ago when the scandal erupted.
The jury of seven men and five women started deliberation on Monday. However, on Thursday they announced that they were deadlocked but continued to deliberate, reviewing reams of testimony. By Saturday, the jury said it was hopeless and the judge accepted a defense motion for a mistrial.
Andrew Wyatt, Cosby’s publicist, told reporters that the actor felt the verdict was a “total victory.”
“Mr. Cosby’s power is back — it’s back. It has been restored,” Wyatt stated. “The jurors, they used their power to speak. So the legacy didn’t go anywhere, it has been restored.”
He added, “For Mr. Cosby’s sake, I just hope that they let him get back to work and be who he has always been: America’s favorite dad.”
Attorney Gloria Allred said outside of the courthouse that “round two may be just around the corner, and this time, justice may prevail.” She represents some of the women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct. She thanked all the accusers who have spoken out and commended her client Kelly Johnson, the only other accuser allowed to testify at the trial.
“I want other persons who believe that (they) are assault victims of anyone to report it and stay strong,” Allred said.
One of the accusers, Victoria Valentino, who attended the trial for two weeks, told NBC News that she would not give up her fight for the truth.
“Devastated, but more determined,” she stated. “The work goes on. This is not over. He remains on bail and accused on all counts.”