Judge declares mistrial in Cosby sexual-assault case

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Washington, June 18 (IANS) The judge in famed American stand-up comedian Bill Cosby’s sexual-assault case declared a mistrial on Saturday, after the jury was unable to reach a verdict following six days of deliberations.

The 79-year-old Cosby, who had pleaded not guilty to drugging and molesting the former director of operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball team Andrea Constand, in 2004, will be released on bail.

But the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office in Pennsylvania, said it would retry the case, Efe news reported.

The jury of seven men and five women had been deliberating since Monday, when attorneys for both sides gave their closing arguments.

In its final statements, the prosecution repeatedly referred to a deposition in a 2005 civil case filed by Constand, in which Cosby testified that he had touched Constand beneath her clothes after giving her pills. That testimony had been read to the jury earlier in the trial.

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Cosby said in that decade-old testimony that he had given Constand a non-prescription allergy medication, Benadryl, to relax her because she said she was stressed. He added that the sexual contact was consensual.

The 44-year-old Constand, however, testified during the trial that the pills Cosby gave her at his home outside Philadelphia in 2004 left her powerless to fight off his advances. She also denied that the two had had a romantic relationship prior to that encounter.

Cosby faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He is accused of assaulting Andrea Constand without her consent, assaulting her when she was unconscious and assaulting her using drugs to substantially impair her ability to consent in his home outside of Philadelphia, in Elkins Park, in early 2004.

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Best known for starring in and producing the highly successful 1980s television sitcom “The Cosby Show,” the television-actor could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison on each count if convicted.



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