Cosby calls for mistrial as jury remains deadlocked

Bill Cosby arrives for jury deliberations in his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown Pa. Wednesday

Bill Cosby arrives for jury deliberations in his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown Pa. Wednesday

On Thursday, the 12-person jury announced that it was unable to reach a unanimous decision after nearly 30 hours of deliberation but were sent back to the negotiating table by the judge.

Cosby, 79, was inside the courthouse waiting for the jury verdict on charges of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, then a college administrator, in 2004.

Cosby's spokesperson told reporters outside the courtroom that "this deadlock shows the "Not Guilty" that Mr. Cosby has been saying the whole time".

He also has claimed that their physical contact was consensual.

They had been deliberating for roughly two hours Thursday - about 30 hours overall - when they reported after 11 a.m. that they were deadlocked and could not reach a unanimous decision on any of the three counts that have been filed against Cosby.

"If after further deliberations, you are still deadlocked on some or all the charges, you should report that to me".

"In order to return a verdict in any charge", O'Neill reminded the jury, "you must agree unanimously on that specific charge".

With television cameras capturing every moment, Lili Bernard, who has accused Cosby of raping her while she was a guest star on his 1980s hit TV series "The Cosby Show", read a Bible passage aloud to Cosby defenders before tearfully hugging a friend.

A hung jury could represent a clear victory for Cosby, allowing him to avoid what might have been years in prison for three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Her attorneys have said she viewed Cosby as a mentor when she worked as a staffer on the Temple University basketball team more than ten years ago.

A group comprised of some of the other women claiming they were sexually assaulted by Cosby has also been in attendance, as were numerous lawyers representing them in civil suits.

Constand's lawyer, Dolores Troiani, said only that the "jury is apparently working very hard".

"That's not how the system works", she said.

"You have a spokesman who is explaining to the media what a mistrial means - at least what he believes a mistrial is", O'Neill told Cosby in court.

Following the jury's morning note, one of Cosby's accusers, Jewel Allison, began crying.

"They're conflicted about the inconsistencies in Ms. Constand's testimony", spokesman Andrew Wyatt said.

As they pored over Cosby's words, the jurors appeared to struggle with some language in one of the charges against him: "without her knowledge".

Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison on each of the three counts, but they could be merged for sentencing purposes. Cosby is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Constand at his home outside Philadelphia in 2004. Just yesterday, the foreman asked to hear transcripts from Cosby's statement to investigators specific to the night of the alleged assault in his suburban Philadelphia home.

Jackson stood by her account, telling The Associated Press in a phone interview that Cosby's lawyers are "going to say whatever they need to say". "They want to get it right".

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