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Bill Cosby sex assault jury adjourns without verdict


Bill Cosby yells 'Hey, hey, hey' to supporters as he leaves court during his sexual assault trial (AP)

Bill Cosby yells 'Hey, hey, hey' to supporters as he leaves court during his sexual assault trial (AP)

Bill Cosby yells 'Hey, hey, hey' to supporters as he leaves court during his sexual assault trial (AP)

Jurors in the Bill Cosby sex assault case have adjourned after considering charges that could send the comedian to prison for the rest of his life.

They spent Tuesday studying what the TV star said happened inside his suburban Philadelphia home and how he characterised his relationship with his accuser.

But they did not come up with a verdict after a long day in the jury room in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

They ended a second day of deliberations without reaching a decision on whether Cosby, 79, drugged and molested a woman at his home in 2004.

Jurors have spent a total of about 16 hours over two days discussing the case and going over evidence with the judge.

"You've sent word: You're exhausted," said Judge Steven O'Neill, dismissing the panel until Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, the jury reviewed more than a dozen passages from a deposition Cosby gave last decade, listening to excerpts on a wide range of topics, from Cosby's first meeting with Andrea Constand to the night in 2004 she says he drugged and molested her.

As he described reaching into Ms Constand's trousers, Cosby testified: "I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped."

Cosby is charged with sexually assaulting Ms Constand, 44, but his lawyer has said they were lovers sharing a consensual sexual encounter.

The entertainer did not take the stand at his trial, but prosecutors used his deposition testimony - given in 2005 and 2006 as part of Ms Constand's civil suit against him - as evidence.

As they pored over Cosby's words, the jurors appeared to struggle with some language in one of the charges against him, "without her knowledge".

The jury asked about the phrasing, but Judge O'Neill said he could not define it for them.

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The jury is considering three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault. The third count covers Cosby's alleged use of pills to impair Ms Constand before groping her.

Outside the court, Ms Constand's lawyers blasted the Cosby team for releasing a statement from a woman who had been blocked from giving evidence at the trial.

Cosby's spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, read the statement from long-time Temple University official Marguerite Jackson, who said Ms Constand told her of a plan to falsely accuse a "high-profile person" of sexual assault so she could sue and get money.

A judge blocked Ms Jackson from taking the stand, ruling it would be hearsay.

Ms Constand said on the witness stand that she did not know Ms Jackson.

Ms Constand's lawyer, Dolores Troiani, told reporters that Ms Jackson was "not telling the truth" and faulted Mr Wyatt for circulating Ms Jackson's statement while jurors were deliberating.

Ms Jackson stood by her account, saying in a phone interview that Cosby's lawyers were "going to say whatever they need to say".

The jury, sequestered for the duration of the trial and unaware of the back-and-forth outside, reviewed the ecidence of the police officer who took Ms Constand's initial report.

Jurors were also keenly focused on what Cosby said about the pills he gave to Ms Constand before their encounter, asking for the second time in deliberations to revisit a portion of the deposition in which the comedian talked about giving her "three friends for you to make you relax".

Cosby later told police the pills were Benadryl, an over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine.

Ms Constand, an athletic, 6ft college basketball staffer, said they made her dazed and groggy, and unable to say no or fight back when Cosby molested her.

The defence insisted Ms Constand was a willing partner and said she hid the fact that the two had had a romantic relationship when she went to police a year after the alleged assault.

Testifying for more than seven hours last week, Ms Constand denied there was any romance between them and told jurors she had rebuffed his advances before the assault.

Authorities declined to charge Cosby when she first came forward in 2005, but a new district attorney reopened the case in 2015 after Cosby's deposition was unsealed at the request of The Associated Press.

Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison on each of the three counts, but they could be merged for sentencing purposes.

After the jury adjourned on Tuesday night, he left the court on his spokesman's arm, waving and giving a thumbs-up to well-wishers as he got in his SUV.

He did not comment to reporters.


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