Stunning news out of Norristown, Pennsylvania today, as Judge Steven T. O’Neill has declared a mistrial in the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby.
Earlier this week, we learned that jurors in the Cosby tiral were deadlocked, but they were initially instructed to continue deliberating in an effort to reach a unanimous verdict.
Today, O’Neill declared that the jury is “deadlocked on all counts,” and prosecutors announced that they will retry the case.
“We will evaluate and review our case,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele in a statement released this morning.
“We will take a hard look at everything involved, and then we will retry it,” he added. “As I said in court, our plan is to move this case forward as soon as possible.”
The charges against Cosby stem from rape allegations made by Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee who told the jury that Cosby sexually assaulted her after giving her drugs that left her unable to move.
More than 50 women have accused Cosby of some form of sexual misconduct, but in every other case, he’s been protected from prosecution by statute of limitation laws.
Attorney Gloria Allred vowed today to continue fighting for Constand and the other alleged victims:
“We can never underestimate the blinding power of celebrity,” Allred told reporters.
“But justice will come … It’s too early to celebrate, Mr. Cosby.”
But celebrating is exactly what Cosby’s attorneys did today, speaking to the press as though the case had already been decided in their client’s favor:
“Cosby’s power is back,” said Andrew Wyatt, acting as spokesperson for Cosby’s top-dollar defense team.
The surprisingly brief trial went to the jury on Monday after the defense rested its case with just six minutes of arguments.
Jurors deliberated for longer than the trial lasted, but reported to the judge on Thursday that they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
In a statement issued today, Judge O’Neill praised the jury for its commitment to seeing that justice is served:
“I feel bad for all of you. I really do,” O’Neill said, declaring their effort to reach a verdict “one of the most courageous and selfless acts I’ve ever seen.”
There’s no word yet on when the second Cosby trial will commence.
We will have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.