Bill Cosby waves as he leaves court after the judge declared a mistrial. (Reuters: Charles Mostoller)
Bill Cosby’s trial on sexual assault charges has ended in a mistrial after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision.
- Jurors deliberated for more than 52 hours over six days
- Cosby remains charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault
- Cosby is free on $1.31 million bail
Jurors deliberated for more than 52 hours over six days before telling a judge they could not 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.
He is free on $1.31 million bail.
Cosby’s team declared victory and went on the attack.
“Mr Cosby’s power is back. It has been restored,” said Andrew Wyatt, his spokesman.
Cosby’s wife of 53 years, Camille, slammed prosecutors for bringing the case to court, calling District Attorney Kevin Steele “heinously and exploitatively ambitious” in a statement released after court adjourned.
She also attacked the judge, the accuser’s lawyers and the media.
“How do I describe the judge? Overtly arrogant, collaborating with the district attorney,” said her statement, which was read by Mr Wyatt.
Cosby himself didn’t comment, but remained stoic as the judge declared a mistrial.
Ms Constand hugged her mother, prosecutors and some of the other women who say the TV star drugged and abused them.
District Attorney Kevin Steele planned a late-morning news conference.
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 molested her.
But the jurors clearly struggled with their verdict, telling the judge on day four they were at an impasse.
Judge Steven O’Neill instructed them to keep working toward a unanimous decision.
On Saturday, they came back and told Mr O’Neill they were hopelessly deadlocked.
The judge sought to comfort the jurors, at least one of whom fought back tears, calling their epic deliberation “one of the more courageous acts, one of the more selfless acts that I’ve seen in the justice system.”
“I feel bad for all of you, I really do,” he added.
He reminded prosecutors and the defence that “a mistrial is neither vindication nor victory for anybody.”
It was the only criminal case to arise from allegations made by more than 60 women that cast Cosby as a serial predator who gave drugs to women before violating them.