This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 19 °C Monday 22 July, 2019
Advertisement

Deadlocked jury in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial ask for definition of "reasonable doubt"

If convicted, the actor could face spending the rest of his life in prison.

Image: Matt Slocum

THE DEADLOCKED US jury battling to reach a verdict in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial asked the judge to define “reasonable doubt” and again asked to hear from the fallen star’s testimony.

The 79-year-old pioneering black actor could face spending the rest of his life in prison if convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault against 44-year-old Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.

Yesterday the 12-member jury told Judge Steven O’Neill that they were deadlocked, but the Pennsylvania judge ordered them to continue with no cut-off point to stop trying to reach a unanimous agreement.

They have now been deliberating more than 40 hours on whether or not Cosby should be convicted of drugging and molesting Constand.

Bill Cosby Andrea Constand, right, returns to the courtroom at the Montgomery County Courthouse during Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial Source: EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ

Under US law, any application of the term “reasonable doubt” would mean that the jury should acquit the defendant.

The panel also asked to hear excerpts from Cosby’s deposition in 2005 in which he says he gave the sedative Quaaludes to a woman in Las Vegas in 1976 before having sex with her, and that he used them with other women.

The agonizing wait for a verdict saw tensions rise outside the court in Norristown, just outside Philadelphia today.

A woman heckled Cosby shouting “shame on you” as he walked into the building while supporters of the actor told her to “shut up” and welcomed him with his “hey, hey, hey” catchphrase from his 1970s and ’80s “Fat Albert” cartoon.

Bill Cosby Trial Continues After Defense Rests - Norristown Actor Bill Cosby's supporters outside of Montgomery County Courthouse Source: Van Tine Dennis/ABACA

Although the trial concerns only Constand’s allegations, 60 women have publicly accused the legendary entertainer of being a serial sexual predator in remarkably similar accusations that span four decades.

The trial marks a steep fall from grace for an entertainer known for his role as a lovable father and obstetrician on hit TV series “The Cosby Show.”

The avalanche of allegations have already ended the career and pulverized the reputation of a comedy legend who turns 80 next month.

If the seven-man, five-woman panel ultimately fail to reach a verdict, O’Neill will be forced to declare a hung jury, leaving open the prospect of a re-trial.

Read: Bill Cosby jury have announced that they are deadlocked>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS