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What Happens After Mistrial Declared In Bill Cosby's Criminal Case?

Jun 17, 2017
Originally published on June 17, 2017 7:26 pm
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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to start the program today with news of two criminal trials in the national spotlight. In a moment, we'll hear about reaction to the acquittal of a Minnesota police officer in the shooting death of a man whose girlfriend captured the immediate aftermath and streamed it on Facebook Live.

But first to the sexual assault case involving comedy legend Bill Cosby. A judge in Montgomery County, Penn., declared a mistrial today after jurors said that, after five days of deliberations, they saw no chance of reaching a unanimous verdict on the question of whether Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted former Temple University basketball coach Andrea Constand. Reporter Bobby Allyn of WHYY in Philadelphia has been following this story, and he's with us now.

Bobby Allyn, thanks so much for joining us.

BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: Yeah, of course.

MARTIN: So what was the reaction on both sides to the announcement? How did the prosecution react? How did the defense react?

ALLYN: So the defense reacted by basically saying that this is a huge vindication for Bill Cosby. They said all along that the encounter - they called it a romantic interlude - between the accuser and Cosby was consensual. They said the jurors not being able to agree shows that he was innocent, which in the eyes of the law, it didn't. In fact, prosecutors said they plan to put Cosby back on trial. And that trial may happen as soon as four months from now.

MARTIN: What's been the reaction in the city while all this has been going on? As you know, he - Bill Cosby has favorite-son status. He's an international celebrity. He's been a generous philanthropist. But more than 50 women have said that he's drugged them, sexually assaulted them. How has this all been received in Philadelphia?

ALLYN: Well, in the area, the big question is, what was the vote count? The jurors - because of pretrial publicity in the Philadelphia area, the jurors were drawn from Pittsburgh. And we don't know if there was one holdout, if there was two holdouts. The jury was comprised of seven men and five women. Two were African-Americans. The rest were whites. They were mostly middle-aged. What was that conversation like? So I think the reaction in Philadelphia and in Montgomery County where the trial took place is, what was going on in that closed-door deliberation period over almost six days between those jurors?

MARTIN: That's reporter Bobby Allyn of WHYY, who's been following the trial of Bill Cosby on charges of sexual assault. He was kind enough to join us from Philadelphia. Bobby Allyn, thanks so much for speaking with us.

ALLYN: Thanks, Michel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.