PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The woman whose police complaint led to Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial is thanking supporters in the wake of the jury deadlock.
“Thank you for the outpouring of love & kindness & support. I am eternally grateful for the messages I have received in recent days,” Andrea Constand said in a tweet Tuesday.
Constand, 44, of Toronto, accused the aging comedian of drugging and molesting her at his home near Philadelphia in 2004, when she worked at his alma mater, Temple University.
News outlets will ask Judge Steven O’Neill at a hearing Tuesday afternoon to release the jurors’ names. They deliberated for 52 hours over six days before announcing they were deadlocked on all three charges. It is not yet clear why jurors could not reach a verdict, or how close they came.
Cosby, 79, has called the sexual encounter consensual. Prosecutors vowed to retry him, and O’Neill said he would hear the case within four months.
Alternate juror Mike McCloskey said Monday he was “ridiculously sick” when he found out the main jury couldn’t reach a verdict. He says he “probably” would have voted to convict, though he did not take part in the deliberations. 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.
Prosecutors are fighting to keep the jurors’ identities a secret, arguing in court documents Monday that releasing them would result in a “publicity onslaught” and make picking a jury for Cosby’s planned retrial more difficult. Media organizations including The Associated Press urged a judge to release them, saying the public has an interest in “confirming that the outcome of the first trial was the result of an impartial process.”
Pennsylvania law allows the public release of jurors’ names, but judges have discretion to keep them a secret under certain conditions. McCloskey first came forward to a Pittsburgh radio station.
O’Neill advised jurors when the trial ended Saturday that they didn’t need to discuss the case.
“It can never be clearer that if you speak up, you could be chilling the justice system in the future if jurors are needed in this case,” O’Neill told them.
Cosby, the actor and comedian once known as “America’s Dad,” was charged with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault.
His publicists read a letter from Cosby’s wife, Camille, on the courthouse steps after the trial that attacked O’Neill as “arrogant” and District Attorney Kevin Steele as “heinous” and “ambitious.”
Dozens of women have come forward to say he drugged and assaulted them, but this was the only case to result in criminal charges.
The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.
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