Bill Cosby Sex Assault Case Ruled a Mistrial: What Happens Next?
Comedian Bill Cosby is neither guilty or acquitted after a Pennsylvania judge declared a mistrial
Bill Cosby is neither guilty or acquitted after a Pennsylvania judge declared a mistrial on Saturday, leaving it up to prosecutors who have already said they will retry his case
After multiple days and 50 hours of deliberation, the jury declared it was “hopelessly deadlocked” on all three charges of aggravated sexual assault against Cosby, who is accused of drugging and sexually assaultingAndrea Constand at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, mansion in January 2004.
The comedian was charged in 2015, pleaded not guilty to the charges and insisted that their sexual contact was consensual. Constand, who is gay, said their contact was not consensual.
After the judge, Steven O’Neill, announced his decision Saturday he said said the jury’s actions were “probably one of the more courageous acts, selfless acts that I’ve ever seen in the justice system.”
Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer Ed Paskey, told The Washington Post that prosecutors factor in many things before they decide to retry a case, including the willingness of victims to go through a trial again.
“There’s a phrase that’s often repeated, that the evidence rarely gets any better after the first trial for the prosecution,” he said.
Although they made a swift decision Saturday to retry the 79-year-old, prosecutors have up to four months to officially file for retrial, according to the newspaper.
Art Patterson, a social psychologist with DecisionQuest, a New York-based trial consulting firm, also told The Washington Post that other factors include how strong the prosecutors think the evidence is, how high-profile the case is and how much it will cost to go through another trial.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.Pittsburgh defense attorney Bernard Tully, a former prosecutor, added before the decision was announced that prosecutors can also ask the jurors who were unable to make a verdict if they will discuss what happened and that it might complicate the decision to retry him if several people were willing to acquit.
“I would think they’d listen very heavily to what the jurors had to say, if they’ll talk,” Tully told the newspaper.