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Judge Steven O’Neill announced a mistrial Saturday morning in the dayslong sexual-assault trial of Bill Cosby after jurors failed to reach a verdict.
“After 52 hours of deliberation — probably one of the most courageous acts I’ve ever seen — I’m compelled to grant a mistrial,” Judge O’Neill said of his decision.
The announcement sparked waves of reaction, as many were shocked that Cosby was not found guilty, including a number of his accusers.
Accuser Andrea Constand, who alleged that Cosby drugged and molested her at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004, responded to the decision. “From the moment she revealed what had happened to her, Andrea sought to have this matter addressed in the criminal justice system,” her representatives said in a statement. “Given the manner in which she was dismissed by the previous district attorney, she had no option but to file a civil suit. We are confident that these proceedings have given a voice to the many victims who felt powerless and silenced. We commend those prosecutors who raised awareness that one of the hallmarks of drug related sexual assaults is the affect the drug has on the victim’s memory and ability to recall and were nonetheless willing to present this evidence to the jury.”
They also thanked the jury for “its tireless efforts” and acknowledged their “sacrifices.” In a tweet on Tuesday, June 20, Constand thanked her supporters.
Thank you for the outpouring of love & kindness & support. I am eternally grateful for the messages I have received in recent days.
— Andrea Constand (@dreconstand2017) June 20, 2017
Gloria Allred, who represents many of the accusers, said, “We can never overestimate the blinding power of celebrity. But justice will come.”
Allred’s daughter, Lisa Bloom, a lawyer herself who has filed complaints against Cosby, tweeted, “For Cosby, mistrial. For his 60 accusers, no justice. #RapeCulture“
For Cosby, mistrial.
For his 60 accusers, no justice.#RapeCulture
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) June 17, 2017
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) June 17, 2017
“Bill Cosby has already been exposed as a predator who hid behind his jovial mask for more than 50 years, and no jury verdict will ever change that,” said accuser Cindra Ladd. “Those of us who came forward to speak our collective truth about what he did to us owe a debt of gratitude to Andrea Constand for her leadership and courage in demanding justice. Despite the disappointing outcome of this case, I take comfort knowing that Bill Cosby’s life is now, and forever will be, a living hell.”
Cosby’s wife, Camille Cosby, had a different perspective. “That is the manifestation of justice, based on facts, not lies,” she said.
She later released a full statement: “How do I describe the district attorney? Heinously and exploitatively ambitious. How do I describe the judge? Overtly arrogant in 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 truth for the primary purpose of greedily selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life.
“Historically people have challenged injustices. 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.’
“Moreover, I express humongous gratitude to counselors Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa for their hard work. Mr. McMonagle for his passionate and powerful articulations of truths; Ms. Agrusa for her thorough research to bolster Counsel McMonagle; to Mr. Andrew Wyatt for his unequivocal skills in public relations; to our team, who worked diligently and intelligently; to our staffs for their continuous commitment to our family and me … and to our children, grandchildren, and other family who loves us … and to our dear friends and supporters, who never gave up on us, despite it all.”
In a statement to CNN on Saturday, accuser Beth Ferrier said in part, “The day has finally come that now the world can see first hand why so many survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and rape wait to report.” The statement continued, “To know now what I know of him, and watching him show his true sick side to his public makes it better that there is a mistrial and that this not blind, not feeble, but brilliant character he sold to the world will eventually be found guilty.”
She concluded, “Remember always that sex is good but not when a person is not able to give consent, and sex was never good with Cosby!”
Statement from Cosby accuser Beth Ferrier pic.twitter.com/8xNkG8ihxm
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 17, 2017
June 20, 7:02 a.m. This story has been updated with Constand’s tweet.
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