Cosby jury still deadlocked after marathon deliberation

Camille Cosby

The judge who oversaw U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's federal bribery and fraud trial previous year booted a juror after his colleagues on the panel reported they were unable to reach a verdict due to one of their own refusing to deliberate.

Judge O'Neill rejected a motion from Cosby's lawyers for a mistrial on Thursday morning.

The jurors asked for a reading of part of Cosby's deposition from more than a decade ago in which he described giving pills to Constand on the night of the alleged sexual assault in 2004. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The third count accuses Cosby of impairing Constand "by administering drugs, intoxicants or other means for the objective of preventing resistance".

The jurors have been tasked with determining whether the 79-year-old comedian is guilty of three charges of aggravated indecent assault: assaulting Andrea Constand without her consent, assaulting her when she was unconscious and assaulting her using drugs to substantially impair her ability to consent.

O'Neill told jurors Thursday night, "I am proud of each and every one of you ... this is hard work you are doing". He told the Pittsburgh-based panel of seven men and five women that even though they appeared to be deadlocked, "Each of you has a duty to consult with one another...if it can be done without violence", he said.

A spokesman for Bill Cosby has invited a family of four supporters to meet with the comedian as he awaits a jury's verdict at his suburban Philadelphia sexual assault trial.

Mr Cosby said in a 2005-06 civil deposition that he provided pills to help her relax, but said it was a cold medication. Some of them looked defeated as the judge sent them back to the jury room.

Constand won a national title with the University of Arizona and played in a pro league in Europe before landing a job with the Temple University women's basketball team.

Cosby's wife Camille made her first visit to the courtroom on Monday and was treated to McMonagle's two-and-a-half hour closing argument. "The jurors are grappling with getting it right", he says.

Some Cosby supporters allege that racial bias is a motivating factor behind the accusations of sexual assault against "America's Dad". It's likely the prosecution would take a poll of the jury to find out how split they are before making any decision about retrial, and any deadlocked charges could be withdrawn. "I came home to my boyfriend at the time-who has been my husband, my one and only since 1990-I came home drugged and sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby to him". Judge Steve O'Neill ordered them back into their chamber to continue. Each of these charges carries a maximum of ten years in prison, along with a $25,000 fine.

"They're conflicted about the inconsistencies in Ms. Constand's testimony", spokesman Andrew Wyatt said. The charges stem from a 2004 sexual encounter with Constand.

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

They will get back to it Friday morning.

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