Now that Bill Cosby's first sex assault trial has ended in deadlock, the difficulty of seating an unbiased jury for the famed entertainer's retrial may have ratcheted higher, thanks to blanket media coverage of the sensational case, legal experts say. Cosby's trial ended without a verdict after jurors failed to reach a. It is not yet clear why jurors could not reach a verdict, or how close they came.
Pennsylvania law allows the public release of jurors' names, but judges have discretion to keep them a secret under certain conditions.
As an alternate, Mike McCloskey heard all the testimony but didn't participate in deliberations.
However, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office responded to these claims, saying that there is no possible way she could know this.
The 44-year-old Toronto woman accuses Cosby of drugging and molesting her in 2004 at his home near Philadelphia.
Cosby, 79, has called the sexual encounter consensual.
He told Pittsburgh radio station WDVE that jurors did not discuss the case on the bus ride after the trial, maintaining "complete silence".
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 Cosby's planned retrial more hard.
University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias commented on the prospects for a new trial: "The fact that the case turned substantially on one person's testimony may have made it hard to win and the defense counsel made many efforts to undercut her testimony".
Juror names are normally a matter of public record and judges must justify the decision to seal them, legal experts said. Following a series of complaints against him, he had to face three felony charges of second-degree aggravated indecent assault.
If prosecutors do stand by their vow to try Bill Cosby a second time, it is possible that they will try to persuade the judge to allow more accusers to take the stand (only one, in addition to Andrea Constand, was allowed during the first trial). Aside from Constand, several other women have also accused the actor of sexually abusing them for decades.
The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.