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Cosby deadlock makes task of finding second jury even more difficult

20 June 2017

One of the alternate jurors in Bill Cosby's sex assault case has gone public.

Several news operations are challenging a protective order that shields the jurors' identities.

Jurors were selected in Allegheny County because Cosby's attorneys argued that pretrial publicity would make it hard to find impartial jury candidates in Montgomery County, where Cosby lives.

A Common Pleas judge in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on Saturday declared a mistrial in the sexual assault case against the 79-year-old entertainer after jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Prosecutors had asked to have 13 other women testify to bolster their allegation that Cosby had a history of drugging and molesting women, but Judge O'Neill allowed just one to take the stand. Barbara Ashcroft, who directs the trial advocacy program at Temple University's Beasley School of Law, doubts O'Neill would change his mind.

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In addition to bracing himself for a new criminal trial, Cosby is also battling civil cases, accusing him of sexual battery or defamation.

"We got to try our case", Steele said. McCloskey said he was particularly impressed by the testimony of Gianna Constand, the mother of Cosby's main accuser, Andrea Constand.

Concerns about the case's visibility had already prompted O'Neill to import jurors for the first trial from Pittsburgh, around 300 miles (480 km) from the courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia.

"It can never be clearer that if you speak up, you could be chilling the justice system in the future if jurors are needed in this case", O'Neill told them.

Even so, members of the media have called on the judge to release the names of the Cosby trial jurors, arguing that "confirming that the outcome of the first trial was the result of an impartial process" is in the best interest of the public.

In it, Cosby referred to Gianna as "mum" as he recalled in graphic detail that he gave her daughter, then 31, an orgasm. The defense had hoped, if it did, to introduce evidence she had previously dated a man. Cosby is free on 1 million dollars bail.

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"We have no indication of where anybody was on the case and I don't know that we will ever know", Steele said.

Cosby also is battling sexual battery or defamation cases still pending by 10 women in California and MA.

According to ABC News, Judge O'Neill could schedule the retrial within weeks. Cosby's criminal defense lawyer, Brian McMonagle, however, is confident in his client's chances of beating the charges.

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