February 22, 2018

Cosby judge could revisit issue of revealing names of jurors

28 June 2017, 05:18 | Cassandra Thompson

A Common Pleas judge in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on Saturday declared a mistrial in the sexual assault case against the 79-year-old entertainer after jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

In a retrial, District Attorney Kevin Steele could ask the judge to allow testimony from more of Cosby's 60 accusers, or to disclose to jurors that Constand is gay.

Following the declaration of the mistrial, Cosby's spokesman told reporters that Cosby's "power is back".

In December 2015 - five months after 35 other women offered similar accounts of sexual assault at the hands of Bill Cosby in a NY cover story - Montgomery County prosecutors charged him with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Prosecutors in Bill Cosby's sexual assault case are fighting to keep the jurors' identities a secret. The names of the jurors have not been released. "If the jury's analysis of the evidence has been previewed, that's much more of a tainting issue".

He said of the six alternate jurors: "I would say we would have voted to convict". The prosecution believes if the names of jurors are released and subject to mass media inquiries, it could make it more hard when the next jury is picked.

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"I would have voted to convict", McCloskey told the morning hosts on WDVE, a station that broadcasts Pittsburgh Steelers games. McCloskey said he was "ridiculously sick" over the jury's inability to reach a verdict. Media from around the world descended on Norristown and packed two courtrooms to report on the proceedings and the more than 52 hours of jury deliberations that ended when the panel declared it was hopelessly deadlocked. The prosecution began with the 79-year-old entertainer's arrest on December 30, 2015. Cosby says it was consensual.

It's possible the next jury could be selected in another county so as not to place too heavy of a burden on Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located, said Dennis McAndrews, a former Philadelphia-area prosecutor.

After a mistrial was declared, McCloskey said he was eager to finally be able to talk about it among the other jurors.

During their deliberations, jurors sent a string of questions to the judge, asking to rehear the testimonies of five trial witnesses and Cosby's previous deposition testimony.

Lawyers for several media outlets argued at a hearing Tuesday that jurors' names should nearly always be public to ensure transparency in the judicial process. Judge Steven O'Neill advised jurors when the trial ended Saturday outside Philadelphia that they need not discuss the case.

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

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