Cosby trial accuser thanks supporters for love, kindness

Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O'Neill has kept secret the names of the 12 jurors who spent 52 hours in an unsuccessful effort to decide whether Cosby, now 79, drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand at his home in a Philadelphia suburb in 2004.

In new court documents, the prosecution asserted the court should withhold juror names to keep from compromising "an important right that will be prejudiced by publicity", such as the defendant's right to a fair trial.

Cosby, who turns 80 next month, is accused of drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004. Cosby's power - his inherent trustworthiness as a famous, beloved man called to account by a strong but powerless woman - is impossible to separate from the verdict, or the trial's lack thereof. They had already declared themselves deadlocked Thursday morning, at which time Judge O'Niell told them to return to deliberations and try again.

Excoriated by the defense for charging Cosby in the first place, District Attorney Kevin Steele vowed to put him on trial a second time, saying accuser Andrea Constand supported the decision.

"I wanted to get up and clap", he said of her testimony. He found the taped phone call played in court between Cosby and Constand's mother, in which Cosby described the sexual encounter with her daughter, particularly disturbing. Despite the weight of the evidence supporting her account, inconsistencies in her original reports to police made it hard for the jury to agree unanimously on guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Even so, Oliver cautioned that the emergence of a particular narrative - that Constand's testimony was not believable, or that only one or two holdouts refused to convict Cosby - could affect potential jurors' view of the case. He said he had hoped to learn more about the deliberations on Saturday, when all of the jurors, including the alternates, left Norristown together for the ride back to western Pennsylvania.

McCloskey is the first of the jurors to speak out about the trial.

As an alternate, Mike McCloskey heard all the testimony but didn't participate in deliberations. It is not yet clear why jurors could not reach a verdict, or how close they came.

In a statement read aloud following the trial, Cosby's wife, Camille Cosby, thanked the jurors "who tenaciously fought to review the evidence, which is the rightful way to make a sound decision" and slammed the DA as "heinously and exploitatively ambitious".

"She's just looking for justice I believe, so it's really sad for her", McCloskey said. Several of them attended the criminal trial with their layers. O'Neill could schedule the retrial within weeks.

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