Bill Cosby, the comedian once known as "America's Dad" for his TV role as paternal Dr. Cliff Huxtable, is declaring victory this Father's Day after a jury deliberated 52 hours without reaching consensus on charges he drugged and molested a woman in 2004.
The seven men and five women were sent back to their hotel by the judge hours after he instructed them to continue trying to deliver a verdict on the three charges against the veteran U.S. entertainer. However, after 30 hours of deliberations, jurors said in a statement to the court that they were unable to agree on a verdict.
Each of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Cosby carries a maximum 10-year prison term, though the counts could be merged at sentencing if he is convicted.
Bill Cosby, center, accompanied by his lawyer Brian McMonagle, walks from the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa., Thursday, June 15, 2017. A conviction could put Cosby in prison for the rest of his life. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, center, and Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Kristen, left, enter the courtroom during jury deliberations in Bill Cosy's sexual assault trial at t.
The judge sent them back to the jury room to keep talking and denied a defense motion for a mistrial.
The disgraced comedian is now awaiting a final verdict as the 12-person jury deliberates on whether or not to find him guilty of three counts of criminal indecent assault against Andrea Constand, who claims she was sexually molested by Cosby in 2004.
The testimony is relevant because Cosby is charged with giving pills to Constand, a former Temple University employee, to incapacitate her before their sexual encounter.
Bill Cosby's accusers and supporters alike have gathered on the courthouse steps to await a verdict in his sexual assault case.
Even as his attorney demanded a mistrial, Cosby himself thanked jurors for "their long days" and "their honest work, individually".
The jury this week has asked to rehear large excerpts of trial testimony, including several versions of the incident that both Cosby and Constand have given over the years. He says he believed a chat with the family from Plymouth Meeting would brighten Cosby's spirits.
Cosby, 79, has said he gave Benadryl to Constand, 44, before a consensual sexual encounter.
They've deliberated almost 40 hours since getting the case. "And they're hearing Mr. C.'s testimony and he's extremely truthful".
Constand's lawyer, Dolores Troiani, said only that the "jury is apparently working very hard".
The jury in the Bill Cosby trial indicated Thursday that it has not been able to come to a unanimous decision. "Overtly arrogant, collaborating with the district attorney", she said in her statement, which was tweeted by her husband and read by an associate of the public relations firm representing Cosby.
"This thing is a deadlock", Cosby's spokesman Andrew Wyatt said, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Dozens of women have come forward to say Cosby had drugged and assaulted them, but this was the only case to result in criminal charges. Judge Steven O'Neill gave them instructions to try again, issuing a "dynamite charge" or "Allen charge", meant to motivate an uncertain jury to reach a decision.
He then turned to the jury and read them instructions meant to try to persuade them to find unanimity.
The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.