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Cosby trial jurors call it quits for night

26 June 2017

Bill Cosby walks from the Montgomery County Courthouse after jurors in Cosby's sexual assault trial ended first day deliberations without reaching a verdict in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 12, 2017.

They had been deliberating for roughly two hours Thursday - about 30 hours overall - when they reported after 11 a.m. that they were deadlocked and could not reach a unanimous decision on any of the three counts that have been filed against Cosby. Each of these charges carries a maximum of ten years in prison, along with a $25,000 fine.

Lawyers for Bill Cosby demanded that a judge declare a mistrial in the entertainer's sexual assault case on Friday, complaining that jurors were essentially rehearing the entire week of trial testimony as their deliberations passed the 45-hour mark.

As the rhythmic drumming continued, Victoria Valentino, a former Playboy bunny from the 1960s who says Cosby assaulted her decades ago, danced to the music on the courthouse steps.

Cosby did not testify, but his account was shown to the juror in the form of a police interview from 2005, as well as sworn depositions he gave in 2005 and 2006 as part of Constand's civil lawsuit against him. He testified then that he had given Constand pills before a sexual encounter at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. "The jury foreman has informed me that you are deadlocked", O'Neill said, according to the New York Times.

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Prosecutors say the comedian gave Constand pills that immobilized her and that she couldn't fight off his sexual advances.

"I'm disappointed in whoever the jurists are who are holding out", she said.

Spokesman Andrew Wyatt said the failure to quickly reach a verdict just reinforces the case for Cosby's innocence. On Wednesday, the jury reviewed Andrea Constand's testimony about the night that the attack happened, and also requested the testimony from police about Cosby's 2005 interview to be read-back. Judge Steven O'Neill told the jury he could not provide additional information.

The trial comes after repeated efforts by Cosby's lawyers to have the charges thrown out.

"So it's always hard to look under the hood and see the reality of our lives", Kline said.

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Count one is the matter of consent: did Andrea Constand say "yes" to engaging in sexual contact with Cosby?

Cosby is accused of drugging and molesting a woman in 2004, and is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

As the jurors left for the day, O'Neill heaped praise on them, thanking them for their dedication and the sacrifice they've made being 300 miles from home in the Pittsburgh area. Cosby - who is also dubbed as "America's Dad" due to his long-running program The Cosby Show - was supported by several protesters carrying signs that said "Free Mr. Cosby" and "stop wasting taxpayer money."

The meaning of the phrase "without her knowledge" in one of the three counts against him.

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