Cosby trial shows sex-crime laws must change

25 Juin, 2017, 15:45 | Author: Lucrece Courtet

Andrea Constand expressed gratitude to her supporters after a Pennsylvania judge declared a mistrial in the sexual assault trial stemming from her allegations against Bill Cosby.

Montgomery County Judge Steve O'Neill agreed to keep jurors' identities under seal.

Still, legal experts say, it won't be impossible to find 12 people to sit in judgment of Cosby, who turns 80 next month.

In a statement read aloud following the trial, Cosby's wife, Camille Cosby, thanked the jurors "who tenaciously fought to review the evidence, which is the rightful way to make a sound decision" and slammed the DA as "heinously and exploitatively ambitious". The comic icon is accused of allegedly sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his Cheltenham Township home in 2004 with the use of blue pills and wine.

On Saturday, after six days and 52 hours of grueling deliberations, jurors were unable to come to a consensus on any of the charges against Cosby, who was facing three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault. Prosecutors immediately announced plans to retry the case.

Many prosecutors still only agree to try sexual assault and rape cases they know they can win.

Under questioning from her lawyer, Cosby acknowledged that he had obtained several prescriptions for quaaludes in the 1970s for the objective of offering the powerful sedative to women he wanted to have sex with.

Defence attorneys had pushed to select a jury from another county because of intense pretrial publicity in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where District Attorney Kevin Steele, during his 2015 election campaign, had been critical of one of his predecessors for not prosecuting Cosby. One of the alternate jurors in Bill Cosby's sex assault case has gone public.

"The key to retrying a case is to do it differently the second time, because the defense expects you to do it the same way", said Troiani, whose client is on board for a retrial.

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The nonverdict in last weekend's mistrial of actor/comedian Bill Cosby has led many to openly speculate about the future of the case.

Prosecutors are fighting to keep the jurors' identities a secret, arguing in court documents Monday that releasing them would result in a "publicity onslaught" and make picking a jury for the second trial more hard. It is not yet clear why jurors could not reach a verdict, or how close they came.

Attorney Eli Segal of Pepper Hamilton LLP, representing the media organizations, argued that the names of jurors is of "extraordinary public importance" and that news outlets have a First Amendment right to it. Like the judge, they worry about finding 18 unbiased jurors for the retrial of the case, given the worldwide coverage of the comedian's first trial.

He said the jurors were completely mum on what caused the mistrial on the bus ride back to the hotel near the Norristown courthouse.

McCloskey posted his juror ID badge on Facebook to prove he was on the alternate jury. "A jury was selected from Allegheny County, due to defendant's concerns about media saturation in the Philadelphia media market". The jurors, they used their power to speak.

Constand pursued criminal charges against Cosby in 2005 and got nowhere, not because detectives didn't believe her but because her case didn't seem winnable.

The nature of the split among the jurors was not revealed.

He remains free on $1 million bail.

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