Jury in Bill Cosby’s Sex Assault Case Ends Third Day of Deliberation

The jury in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial deliberated for a third day Monday without reaching a verdict even though the judge in the case indicated at the end of deliberations last week that the jurors were close to deciding the case.

On Friday, the judge, Craig D. Karlan, said the jurors in Santa Monica, Calif., had resolved most of the questions on a verdict sheet they were being asked to vote on. But their uncertainty surrounding some final issues led him to call the jury back Monday to resume its deliberations.

“It does not feel right to rush a verdict when there is so much at stake for both sides,” Judge Karlan said Monday, explaining his actions.

One of the 12 jurors who sat through the first two days of deliberations — the same juror who had acted as the foreperson — had to be excused from Monday’s deliberations. So an alternate juror took a seat with the panel, which was directed to start fresh in examining the issues at the heart of the case.

It was not clear what effect the inclusion of the new juror might have on the deliberations. Nine of the 12 jurors need to agree on a verdict, and they are using a verdict sheet with nine questions on it to guide their deliberations and to decide on any damages.

The jury on Monday asked for clarification on several points, including one about whether Mr. Cosby’s accuser, Judy Huth, had come forward to report she had been assaulted within five years of discovering the emotional distress caused by it, as is required by California law. The judge said that jurors should apply the same standard of proof, the preponderance of the evidence, in deciding this matter as for all civil trial matters.

The case is the first civil case accusing Mr. Cosby of sexual assault to reach trial. Ms. Huth testified that Mr. Cosby molested her in 1975 in a bedroom inside the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles when she was 16, a minor.

In testimony, Ms. Huth, 64, described how Mr. Cosby tried to put his hand down her pants and then forced her to perform a sex act on him.

Mr. Cosby’s lawyers have described Ms. Huth’s account as “a complete and utter fabrication” and have questioned why she spent hours at the mansion after what she described as the assault.

The jury also asked to review testimony by another woman, Donna Samuelson, who had accompanied Ms. Huth to the Playboy Mansion.

Ms. Samuelson told the jury that Ms. Huth cried and showed anger as she described her encounter with Mr. Cosby shortly after what she depicted as the assault. She said that they had talked in her car for about a half-hour and that she had persuaded Ms. Huth to stay at the mansion because she thought spending an evening there would calm her down.

Mr. Cosby, 84, has denied having any sexual encounter with Ms. Huth. He has not attended the trial and did not testify after invoking his Fifth Amendment right. But he was heard by the jurors in a videotaped deposition saying that he did not remember ever meeting Ms. Huth.

Ms. Samuelson took two photos of Mr. Cosby and Ms. Huth together at the mansion, though, and they have been entered into evidence.

Over the course of 10 days of testimony, the jury heard Ms. Huth’s account that she and Ms. Samuelson had first met Mr. Cosby in a park in San Marino, Calif., where he was filming a scene for the movie “Let’s Do It Again” in 1975.

She and Ms. Samuelson testified that Mr. Cosby had invited them to his tennis club, and then to the house where he was staying, where he gave them alcohol and invited them to follow him in their car to the Playboy Mansion.

news.google.com

Leave a Comment