Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial ends in mistrial, DA says he will retry the case

Bill Cosby arrives for the fourth full day of jury deliberation

Several weeks ago, the Bill Cosby trial began in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Cosby stood accused of the alleged sexual assault of Andrea Constand. Constand was one of a group of more than sixty women who had come forward in the past two years to tell their stories of being drugged, assaulted and raped by Cosby. Some of the accusations were from the 1970s and ‘80s (beyond the statute of limitations), but Constand’s case is from 2004. This is the first time Cosby has ever faced criminal charges for his decades of abuse and assault. Constand claimed that Cosby drugged her and assaulted her at his mansion in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania in 2004, and Cosby was formally charged with second-degree felony in December 2015. You can read about Constand’s testimony here.

The trial ended up going on for five days, and Cosby’s defense only offered one witness before resting its case. Cosby never took the stand in his own defense, and the basic gist of the Cosby team’s cross-examination of the prosecution’s witnesses was basically like “Bill Cosby is a great guy, and everyone else is trash/lying/out to damage his reputation.” As it turned out, that strategy worked. After being deadlocked for a week, the jury was unable to come to any kind of agreement, even after the judge ordered them back into deliberations late last week. The judge declared a mistrial on Saturday. We don’t know how many jury members voted not guilty versus guilty, we only know that they couldn’t agree as a group. The Montgomery DA has already announced plans to retry the case:

Bill Cosby’s wife Camille issued a lengthy and abrasive statement, seemingly with the intention of intimidating other accusers from coming forward. She wrote:

“How do I describe the District Attorney? Heinously and explosively ambitions. How do I describe the judge? Overtly and arrogantly collaborating with the District Attorney. How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? Totally unethical. How do I describe many, but not all, general media? Blatantly vicious entities that continually disseminated intentional omissions of truths for the primary purpose of greedily selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life.”

“Historically, people have challenged injustices,” Camille said. “I am grateful to any of the jurors who tenaciously fought to review the evidence; which is the rightful way to make a sound decision….ultimately, that is a manifestation of justice, based on facts, not lies. As a very special friend once stated, ‘truth can be subdued, but not destroyed.’

[From People]

She also thanked her husband’s lawyers, who must have been shocked by the mistrial, I would think. Then again, maybe not. Maybe this is Trump’s America in a nutshell: it didn’t matter to those jurors that sixty women revealed decades of rape and sexual assault at the hands of Cosby. Even though their testimony wasn’t allowed into evidence, I guess those jurors were very “hear no evil” before they were selected for the jury. I shouldn’t paint them all with the same brush – for all we know, it could have just been one dude on the jury who will never believe a woman – any woman – when they tell their sexual assault story.

Bill Cosby arrives for the fourth full day of jury deliberation

Photos courtesy of Media Punch/BACKGRID.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

56 Responses to “Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial ends in mistrial, DA says he will retry the case”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Kate says:

    Between the Philando Castille verdict and this one, what a great week for the US justice system!

    • Snowflake says:

      I know, I’m really upset about the Castille verdict. His poor mom and girlfriend. What a horrible thing for them to go through as well. To see your son killed in such a way, and the killer to get off? Omg. Travesty of Justice

    • Lolo86lf says:

      It has to do with affluence. Cosby is very rich whereas Castille was not. I can’t think of a simpler explanation.

      • Ramona says:

        Money and celebrity probably factor in for Bill sure but the bigger problem for Castille was the cop involvement. It is very rare to successfully prosecute a cop shooting. And frankly a lot of DAs arent that vested in the case given how closely they work with cops in their day to day.

    • Alex says:

      Nah the system worked just as it was intended.
      1. The system never was built for black people
      2. The system is built to protect cops
      3. The system’s burden to convict rapists is high which is why most women don’t report.

      While these verdicts are infuriating its not because the system doesn’t work. The system was never intended for people like me or Philando.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Alex, this all day. Our justice system is working exactly as it was designed to, protecting who it was designed to protect. Cop shootings and rapes won’t be deterred in the courtroom. These travesies need to be stopped at the source, adjusting the cultural mindsets that empower certain individuals to feel entitled and above the law.

      • AlmondJoy says:

        Alex… the heartbreaking truth 💔

      • Anesthetizes says:

        Nailed it, Alex. Ugh I feel sick at both these verdicts.

      • Chanteloup says:

        Yeah, we’d have to actually value all people to give them justice

      • tracking says:

        Heartbreaking. Accurate.

  2. Persian says:

    I really do hope he’s convicted the next time they try the case so he would spend the remaining o his miserable life behind bars!

  3. jferber says:

    Gross injustice seems to be the standard norm now. Bare, naked , in-your-face gross injustice: Trump, Cosby, the verdict in the Philando Castille case. It makes me want to cry.

  4. Ramona says:

    “She also thanked her husband’s lawyers, who must have been shocked by the mistrial, I would think”

    I do t think the mistrial was a surprise. Tbh I expected a not guilty verdict and the lawyers did too. Notice they didnt even bother to bring witnesses, not even character witnesses. According to Jezebel, the defense took less than two hours and that was just to emphasise the holes in the prosecutors case. You have to remember that the other womens accusations were inadmissable (probably because they have also never been tried???). And while there are perfectly innocent reasons for why she continued amicable contact with him, why she told no one for a year and the call from her mum which could be construed as extortion over sketchy but consensual sex; a lot of that stuff combined together doesnt play well to a jury. This is probably why the first DA declined to prosecute.

    As for me, maybe I am a bad feminist but I am AS troubled over low rape convictions as I am over bad convictions. Its not enough for the general public to believe in our collective gut that he did it, it needs to meet the courts evidence thresholds. Thats the only thing that keeps my hoodie wearing son from being locked up for any crimes committed in my neighborhood. As they say, better a guilty man walk free than an innocent man be incarcerated. Let the prosecutor do a better job in his next attempt but this was the right result.

    • honey says:

      “Court evidence thresholds..”

      I think if 60, no scratch that, 1 cop, claimed a young black dude, with no prior history and an otherwise perfect record attempted an assault on him, in an area with no witnesses/no recording, that kid would in all likelihood be convicted of assault. He said/she said is perfectly valid, i.e he pushed me down the stairs/buddy stole my laptop etc. unless we’re talking about rape and “she” said it.

      It’s amazing to me how people with twist themselves into knots to give the benefit of the doubt to rapists. It’s truly remarkable thing to witness. If a woman admitted to anything in the false allegation territory i.e. lets say claiming she was groped when she wasn’t or simply lied about any part of an assault she immediately lacks all credibility. Yet, we have guys being tried for rape who are revealed to have lied to some degree during the investigation or who ADMIT to lesser non consensual acts which demonstrate callousness/a complete lack of empathy and desire to degrade women i.e. revenge porn/recording WITHOUT consent, but oh it doesn’t mean they’re likely a rapist. They can demonstrate a clear disregard for consent but it’s still 50/50 (at best) as to whether they’re rapists. I’d like to see a woman known to make false allegations against men (for lesser offences) out of sheer vindictiveness be taken seriously when it comes to reporting rape.

      Suddenly if it’s rape case all common sense flies out the window, the most improbable scenarios are suddenly super valid – “so this y is saying she was raped by x, had a rape kit done which picked up some kind of trauma and another girl claimed x also assaulted her a while back – doesn’t sound credible to me, whores probably colluded together to ruin this poor x’s life”

      If this train of thought is logical please show equivalent examples in relation to other crimes. The only time it works it when there is a significant imbalance between both parties either through race, power/class/wealth or gender.

      Cops have been known to lie (and corroborate each others lies) and engage in drug dealing, facilitate organised crime, plant of evidence, rape and murder etc. but yet we accept their he said/she said testimony as credible/valid without independent evidence. The idea that a cop/s deliberately lied out of spite/racism/to protect his interests is only entertained (and barely that, you’re still not getting anything close to a conviction or reasonable sentence the majority of the time) in the most extreme of cases i.e Daniel Holtzclaw (higher than the norm victim count, non white low level officer).

      • Chanteloup says:


      • Ana says:

        You’re not wrong. But your first example is not the best. Usually people have no problem believing a victim if the rape was committed by a stranger, in a dark alley, and with the use of violence. Also victims are a lot more willing to denounce those kinds of rape.

        The problem starts when the rape comes in a less clear context. Such as, whithin a established relationship, or during a party when people are intoxicated. That of course is still rape, but the the questioning and victim blaming starts, and victims are a lot less willing to put themselves through the ringer that it is to accuse someone of rape, because they know they’ll be victimized all over again by people accusing them of lying. That’s why they often take a lot longer to come forward and then it becomes harder to prove it in court.

        In Cosby’s case, I have no doubts that his status and even his famous Cosby Show character played a role in the doubt of some. Like that disgusting woman that wrote an article saying that she refused to believe Cliff Huxtable could rape someone. It’s beyond my comprehension, but people really think like this. We are going to need a big cultural change to erase the confusion over what’s rape, and this trial proved that we still have a long ways to go.

  5. Beth says:

    Unfortunately, some don’t want to believe that “Americas daď” could be a filthy, perverted criminal. His lawyer is now saying that he’s worried about Cosbys health. Tough shit, Cosby!

    • tmot says:


    • Lady D says:

      Creepshow Cosby started the trial holding his assistant’s arm, cane in the other hand, stating he is going blind several times in his interviews and his lawyers. After the mistrial he walked out alone, head high, waving to everyone and striding down the stairs. It was an amazing transformation. Maybe karma will strike and his dick will rot off.

  6. SusanneToo says:

    How does Camille describe her husband? As the source of her wealth? As the person who allows her to wallow in luxury while ignoring his nonstop philandering? Sorry, not philandering, it’s assault/rape. Really, how does she describe him?

    • DIRTNAP says:

      Camille Cosby absolutely disgusts me. She only attends one day of the trial, and swans into that courthouse with a sh-t eating grin on her face. She isn’t there for the entire trial, but then has the nerve to offer her harshly-worded opinion on it.

      I keep thinking back to her 2000 interview with Oprah for O Magazine. She said it was important for the people in her life to have integrity and that her tolerance for nonsense was zero. She said she doesn’t believe in unconditional love because it creates a long-suffering female, that love should be reciprocal and only given to someone when they prove themselves worthy of it. She said that when she looks in the mirror, she sees an honest person. And this is my favorite part:

      Oprah: What is the quality you dislike most in other people?

      Camille: Dishonesty. I can’t stand dishonesty. And now, after all these experiences with people, I can smell it coming through the door. I can see it. I’m beginning to look at people’s auras or lack of. My antennas go way up. I’m very selective about who comes into our home now. I don’t like people coming into our home whom I haven’t checked out first.

      Oprah: Because?

      Camille: Because I only want people who I like in our home. I don’t want people I don’t like in our home. I just don’t like dishonesty. I don’t like a lack of integrity. I think integrity should permeate every aspect of your life. And if you don’t have it, I’m going to feel it, and that’s the end of it.

      I guess Camille has one of those trick mouths that can talk out of both sides ….

      • Chetta B. says:

        Filthy rich coming from Camille Cosby her opinions on honesty and integrity, isn’t it. Bloody laughable is what it is. Ugh.

    • Megan says:

      Camille has been complicit for decades. Why expect anything different from her now? I feel sorry for their kids. It must hurt like hell to have such revolting parents.

      • Bethy says:

        I know Cosby’so daughter Erin was estranged from him for awhile after her own assault (by Mike Tyson), but it appears she’s gone tone deaf too and is standing behind him.

    • Hazel says:

      For some reason, Camille’s letter read like a trumpista’s.

  7. Izzy says:

    No matter the outcome of the next trial, Cosby’s legacy will forever be as a man who is accused of raping dozens of women, and who likely got away with it because of the privilege of wealth and the statute of limitations. OJ was found not guilty, and his legacy as a likely murderer is cemented in history.

    As for the Castille verdict, I don’t even have words. There is literally NOTHING you can do right and not get shot by a cop if you are black and living in America – that is the message the verdict sends.

  8. Alp says:

    I can’t believe he admitted it & bragged about it yet somehow people don’t believe it?

  9. giulia says:

    I wish one of the other victims had filed suit because – there were major issues with Costand as a plaintiff and now this rapist has got away with his crimes

    • Kate says:

      When it comes to rape and powerful men, it seems thare is always major issue with the plaintiff. At this point, I am just astonished that any woman would want to go through a rape trial.

    • Radley says:

      Yeah, but I’m still proud of Andrea Constand. There’s no such thing as the “perfect” prosecution witness. She tried. She told her story. She pressed charges. Certainly because of her and all the other ladies that came forward, Cosby’s dirty little secret is out. It will forever tarnish his legacy.

      I knew there was a reason I always preferred Richard Pryor style put-my-issues-out-there comedians over these squeaky clean image obsessed types. Ever since Eddie Murphy aired Cosby out on trying to censor his act and Richard Pryor advised Eddie to tell Cosby to “Have a Coke and a smile and STFU” I’ve been side-eyeing him.

      ETA Camille Cosby is as bad as Melania and Ivanka Trump. How dare all of them enable this inexcusable, criminal behavior. They disgust me.

  10. KBeth says:

    Unfortunately, I’m just surprised that it was a mistrial rather than a not guilty verdict.
    Cosby is vile and sadly I think his victims will have to be content with the loss of his legacy and public humiliation because punishment likely will not be doled out by the judicial system.
    No way they get a conviction at second trial.

    • Chanteloup says:

      Then let’s drag that retrial out, putting that arsehole’s name in the mud where it belongs every day, until the ol’bastard dies.
      Rest in hell, bill.

  11. HK9 says:

    I’m not surprised at this verdict. I knew it would be hard to convict everyone’s favourite TV dad. There are what now 40+ people who don’t know each other who have come forward with similar stories. We know this happened.(the reality is probably far worse) I don’t know if there will be any legal victories, but everyone knows now and he will go to his grave with that knowledge. I give zero f-ks if is lawyer is concerned about his health. He had no mercy on those he victimized, and now he’s on receiving end. Sometimes in life you get what you give.

    I feel sorry for his wife Camille though, because her reverie about the premises on which she built her life is crashing down around her and it’s going to get bad but here is a clue for her-if your husband really cared about his reputation he wouldn’t have made a career out of drugging & raping women. He would not have placed you in a position of having to defend this in the senior years of your life. He’s a sexual criminal who should have been lock up many years ago and the only thing keeping him from that is the statute of limitations. This is the reputation he actually deserves, and if she has a problem with that, she needs to talk to Bill.

    • cr says:

      I don’t feel sorry for Camille, she was complicit.

      • HK9 says:

        You know she’s complicit. I know she’s complicit. Camille is deep in denial-still.

    • MellyMel says:

      Don’t feel bad for Camille…she’s just as vile as him.

    • Ana says:

      Camille, Hillary Clinton and the women that “stand by” their husbands even when they’ve done atrocious things to other women, and later blame those women for it, know what they are doing and what they get out of it. I’m pretty sure Camille isn’t publicly supporting Cosby even when his own defense portrays him as a serial philanderer just out of the goodness of her heart.

  12. BJ says:

    He won’t be convicted.

  13. KBeth says:

    I don’t feel bad for Camille, I absolutely believe she enabled him & turned a blind eye.

    • Ankhel says:

      Oh, for sure. And what’s more, I suspect she’s actually furious with these women. In her eyes, they are impertinent sluts. The truth simply doesn’t interest her.

    • Merritt says:

      Agreed. She enabled him for years. She knows the truth but doesn’t care.

  14. Betsy says:

    Both decisions are gross miscarriages of justice. This is where we are, still?

  15. Merritt says:

    The jurors who refused to arrive at a guilty verdict make me really angry. Cosby admitted in a deposition that he drugged women. That deposition was part of the evidence. Anyone who tries to claim that drugging a person is not a precursor to rape is a sick f*ck.

    • lucy2 says:

      I don’t get that either. As soon as he admitted to drugging them, it was impossible for them to consent, therefore rape.

  16. AlmondJoy says:

    He’s trash and also dead to me. Convict him next time.

  17. Melody Calder says:

    As a juror you absolutely cannot allow biases from outside the case affect your judgement in the case at hand. It could have been declared a mistrial even if they convicted him and then it came out that they were basing it on outside facts.
    The whole thing sucks. Sounds like attorneys didn’t try hard enough

  18. Magnoliarose says:

    He is a terrible person. This case highlights the problem with prosecuting rape cases, especially after such a long time. It is hard to prove in the first place because the evidence is usually minimal and there are no witnesses. Then there is the myth that a rape victim behaves a certain way and that if not then the victim is lying. Throw in fame and money and a conviction is very unlikely. The first DA knew it was weak on evidence and now this is one may jeopardize a future trial with being too hasty. Camille is pissed because she is no longer the wife of an admired man and her life is disrupted.

  19. lucy2 says:

    How do we describe your husband, Camille? A serial rapist.
    How do we describe you, Camille? Complicit.

    It does give me the faintest hope that they will retry the case, and at least it wasn’t a clear cut not-guilty. His admission of drugging women aside, I think this was always going to be a tough case, given the time that has passed, his celebrity status, and a number of other factors.
    At the very least, it’s good he’s been forced to go through all this and will have to go through a retrial, and that this is what he will always be remembered for.

  20. Ana says:

    I think this trial and the result of it shows just how little people understand what’s rape. It baffles me. Cosby’s defense was that he and Andrea Constand were in a consensual relationship, but then he admitted giving her drugs that made her pretty much incapacitated. So, even if they had been in a consensual relationship the mere fact that he drugged her and touched her when she wasn’t in a position to give her consent makes it a sexual assault. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter how many times she talked to him after, doesn’t erase the crime. The fact that part of the jury (rumors at the courthouse say it was actually one juror that held out, an African American woman) couldn’t see that is beyond disappointing.

    I was so disgusted reading people comments in Twitter. Accusing Andrea of just wanting money (news alert, she already got his money in a civil suit a decade ago, she’d get no money now), or saying that Cosby’s accusers just want to erase his legacy and what he did for Black America. Racism is such an awful thing, the fact it’s been used twice already to get criminals out (I’m talking about OJ) is shameful.

    I hope Cosby is retried but there’s no way it’s going to be an untainted trial now, with all that happened. Truly sad.

  21. Jo says:

    Money wins again. Temporarily at least.

    p.s. We need to start IQ testing juries to make sure they’re representative.

  22. Jennifer says:

    As he was walking outside he suddenly became Stevie Wonder and couldn’t see.

  23. Baltimom says:

    The Cosby trial was disheartening. I guess we should have known though. 7 men and only 5 women on the jury. I’ll bet most of the men were the ones to say, “well how do we know for sure?” To answer that, the men would have to admit that maybe they were guilty of taking advantage at times.

    • Ana says:

      I don’t know about the jury, but a quick look in Twitter shows that a lot of women defend the rapist, sadly.