Cosby declares victory, but prosecutor undeterred

Bill Cosby after a mistrial in his sexual assault case in at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Saturday, June 17, 2017. Cosby's trial ended without a verdict after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press
Jurors deadlocked on all of the charges against the star.

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Bill Cosby, the comedian once known as ‘‘America’s Dad’’ for his TV roles, declared victory on Father’s Day after a mistrial was declared in his sexual assault trial, but the relief may be temporary.

A jury deliberated 52 hours without reaching consensus on charges he drugged and molested a woman in 2004. No one from Cosby’s real or TV families was in court Saturday when the case ended in a mistrial.

Cosby emerged from the courthouse with his publicity team, which read a statement from his wife that accused the judge who is likely to retry him of arrogance and collusion with prosecutors.


District Attorney Kevin Steele vowed to try the 79-year-old Cosby a second time, saying accuser Andrea Constand supported the decision.

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‘‘She has shown such courage through this, and we are in awe of what she has done,’’ Steele said. ‘‘She’s entitled to a verdict in this case.’’

By sowing doubt among one or more jurors, Cosby’s lawyers managed to overcome two years of unrelenting bad publicity for their client after the public release of his damaging testimony about drugs and sex, as well as a barrage of accusations from 60 women who came forward to accuse him of sexual assault.

Constand, now 44, told jurors Cosby gave her pills that made her woozy and then penetrated her with his fingers as she lay paralyzed on a couch, unable to tell him to stop. The 2004 encounter at Cosby’s suburban Philadelphia estate was the only one to result in criminal charges, although he faces several civil suits accusing him of sexual abuse.

Constand, who worked at Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University, is ready to go to trial again.


‘‘She’s a very spiritual woman, she believes things happen for a purpose, and I think the purpose is . . . it should encourage other women to come forward and have their day in court,’’ said her lawyer, Dolores Troiani.

Troiani acknowledged the difficulty of the case, given the passage of time and the impact of the alleged drugging on Constand’s ability to recall details.

After the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on any of the three counts against the comedian, Cosby’s team immediately went on the attack.

Camille Cosby, the entertainer’s wife of 53 years, slammed prosecutors for bringing the case to court, calling Steele ‘‘heinously and exploitively ambitious.’’ She also criticized the judge, the accuser’s lawyers, and the media.

‘‘How do I describe the judge? 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.


Cosby himself didn’t comment.

He remained stoic as the judge declared a mistrial, but his spokesman Andrew Wyatt declared the star’s ‘‘power is back. It has been restored.’’