Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Jury questions posed during Bill Cosby's sex assault trial

Cosby trial day 10: Jury asks judge what is 'reasonable doubt' Cosby Jurors, Still at an Impasse, Wrap Up 5th Day of Deliberations
Melody Ballard | 23 June, 2017, 05:04

The judge in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial here rejected another defense motion for a mistrial over a deadlocked jury, instead sending the jurors back to continue deliberating for a fifth day on Friday.

If the jury sends out another note saying they still can't agree, O'Neill will have to decide whether to declare a mistrial or give them another Spencer charge and tell them to try again.

Specifically, the jury of seven men and five women asked Judge Steven T. O'Neill to redefine the legal concept of "reasonable doubt". "We have a collective imagination of all of the characters they portray and, because of that, we think that we really know them", Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden said.

Jurors told Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill they needed another review of accuser Andrea Constand's testimony concerning her dozens of phone calls to Cosby in the two months in 2004 following the alleged assault. O'Neill criticized the Cosby team for what he says is a "misperception that there's a time limit" on how long deliberations can last.

On Friday, the jury asked to review multiple pieces of evidence, including Cosby's 2006 deposition testimony about quaaludes, a now-banned party drug. The jury's continued questions leave open the possibility that jurors may remain deadlocked and unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault that Cosby faces.

They will get back to it Friday morning.

O'Neill reread Cosby's deposition in which the comedian stated he would give women quaaludes when he wanted to have sex with them.

Cosby stands accused of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Constand, then a Temple University employee, in his Cheltenham home in January 2004.

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Actress Keisha Knight Pulliam, who played Mr Cosby's on-screen daughter, arrived with him, she says she's there to hear the facts and the truth.

In the civil deposition, Cosby admitted that he had previously obtained prescriptions for Quaaludes, a powerful sedative, with the intention of giving the drugs to women with whom he wanted to have sex. Answer: Yes. Question: Did you ever give the Quaaludes to women without their knowledge? During that "aggressive conversation", Gianna Constand testified, Cosby discussed in graphic detail the physical contact he had with Andrea, apologized and claimed he felt "perverted".

The jury seemed exasperated at times over the course of the week as it repeatedly asked the judge for clarifications of evidence or to hear testimony from the trial again.

But McMonagle and co-defense lawyer Angela C. Agrusa argued Cosby was the victim of false accusations and that the entertainer and Constand had a "romantic relationship" and consensual sexual contact during the 2004 incident.

Constand was the prosecution's key witness, telling jurors that Cosby gave her three unidentified pills before taking advantage when she was disoriented to sexually assault her. She got the show tickets because her family loved Cosby, and she hadn't yet told them about the alleged assault.

The jury must come to a unanimous decision to convict or acquit.

An hour after resuming their deliberations, the jury began sending a string of questions to the judge.

If there is a mistrial, Cosby would not be considered guilty or not guilty, and prosecutors may choose to retry the case with a different set of jurors.

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