Thursday marked the ninth day of Bill Cosby‘s sexual assault trial, and the fourth day of jury deliberations. The jury reported to judge Steven T. O’Neill that they are deadlocked and unable to reach a unanimous decision.
“We cannot come to a unanimous consensus on any of these counts,” the jury said in a note sent out at 11:06 a.m. ET, after more than 30 hours of deliberations.
At the end of December 2015, 11 years after an alleged interaction with Toronto woman Andrea Constand, Cosby was charged with aggravated indecent assault, punishable by five to 10 years behind bars and a $25,000 fine. (The charge was laid just days before the 12-year statute of limitations for bringing charges was set to run out.) He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Prosecutors accused him of plying Constand with pills and wine, then penetrating her with his fingers without her consent, while she was drifting in and out of consciousness, unable to resist or cry out.
Cosby had acknowledged under oath a decade ago that he drugged and had sexual contact with Constand, but said it was consensual.
O’Neill ordered the jury to continue trying to reach a verdict despite their inability to reach a consensus, as is their sworn duty. He also denied a motion for a mistrial filed by Cosby’s lawyer.
“Do not feel compelled to surrender your honest belief,” he said, adding a caveat.
The jury has now asked for Cosby and Constand’s testimony from their decade-old depositions on two separate occasions, reviewing more than a dozen passages in detail, including his telling Constand the pills were “three friends” to make her relax.
Jurors appeared tired and spent when they decided to call it quits on Wednesday. The panel of seven men and five women worked late for the third night in a row, asking for testimony about a detective’s interview with Cosby in early 2005, about a year after Constand says the comedian assaulted her. They ordered strombolis for dinner while a court reporter raced to transcribe that portion of last week’s testimony.
As deliberations crossed the 27-hour mark, some jurors closed their eyes and tilted their heads down as a court reporter reread Cosby’s January 2005 interview. One slunk down in his seat, looking angry.
The judge praised them for being remarkably conscientious as they consider three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault that could put Cosby in prison for the rest of his life.
“This is an incredible jury that has just acted with incredible dignity and fidelity … and I don’t have any higher praise,” Judge Stephen O’Neill told the panel before they broke for the night. “You have taken your task so seriously.”
With files from The Associated Press