BILL COSBY CONTINUES TO STAVE OFF RAPE CHARGES
Previously, we blogged on the Bill Cosby sex assault trial prior to a jury verdict. Last month, after over 50 hours and 6 days of deliberation, the jurors in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial came back deadlocked. They could not agree unanimously on his guilt or innocence in any of the 3 charges, so the judge had no choice but to declare a mistrial.
However, prosecutors will be retrying Cosby in the coming months. When a mistrial occurs, the defendant is found neither guilty nor innocent which means that double jeopardy does not prevent the prosecution from trying him again. Double jeopardy is a complicated issue which generally means you cannot be tried for the same crime twice. To understand double jeopardy better, check out our podcast.
The Cosby trial cost Montgomery county over 200 thousand dollars. But despite this cost and the deadlocked jury, the prosecutors have reason to believe a retrial is worth the effort. Information from the jury indicates that they initially leaned toward acquittal but found the evidence convincing enough that 10 favored conviction on at least 2 charges.
After the trial Bill Cosby suggested he would consider a speaking tour, although no dates are set. There was also an incident with a trial spectator who shared images and videos of the defense closing arguments. This social media share was in violation of the judge’s trial orders. The spectator was fined and given community service for her infraction. When she was asked why she did it, she humorously replied that she felt it was her only chance to go viral online. For more tales of social media shenanigans, check out our podcast, Social Media and the Law.
A retrial of the criminal case is not the only hurdle Cosby faces. In California, a trial date has been set for July of 2018 in another incident involving Cosby and a woman named Judy Huth, who was allegedly assaulted by Cosby at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, when she was only 15. Huth’s attorney is the highly experienced trial lawyer, Gloria Allred. Mr. Cosby is also dealing with 10 other lawsuits for sexual battery or defamation. Three lawsuits originate in California, which no longer has a statute of limitations for sexual assault, and the other 7 are suing Cosby for defamation in Massachusetts.
While the criminal trial provides him a reprieve for now, Mr. Cosby has a number of legal issues to deal with in front of him.