Names of jurors in Bill Cosby sexual assault case released

22 June, 2017, 08:17 | Author: Evan Mason

In an interview with ABC, one of the jurors - who chose to remain anonymous - told how discussions at the highly publicized trial grew so tense, some in the group punched through walls and cried as they tried hopelessly to reach a verdict.

The judge in the case declared a mistrial by hung jury on Saturday after 52 hours of deliberation failed to break the deadlock.

The Philadelphia Media Network has been leading the charge to identify the jurors since Cosby's trial kicked off on June 5.

On counts one and three, the two holdouts against finding Cosby guilty were "not moving, no matter what", said the juror, who agreed to speak to ABC News only on the condition of anonymity.

Andrea Constand walks to the courtroom during Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., on June 6.

During a hearing Tuesday, Judge Steven O'Neil expressed concern there could be a chilling effect on jurors for the retrial if the names of the jury from the mistrial become public.

O'Neill's ruling came a day after lawyers for several media companies and prosecutors and defense lawyers were in court arguing over the release of the jurors' names. A university staff memo sent to the curators says sexual assault allegations against Cosby are "incompatible" with the honorary doctorate in humane letters given to him in 1999.

O'Neill said he understands the media's interest in the jurors' identities but he added he has an obligation to prosecutors and Cosby's defense team to ensure that a fair and impartial retrial can be had.

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The jury was reportedly 10-2 in favor of convicting Cosby on two counts: that he digitally penetrated accuser Andrea Constand without her consent, and that he gave her drugs without her knowledge that left her substantially impaired, the juror told ABC.

"This is a critical part of the justice system", the media outlets' lawyer Eli Segal argued.

After balancing the rights of all parties, the court chose to release the names, the document said.

The judge also said he had heard anecdotally that at least one juror had been approached by a reporter since returning home to Allegheny County and that another had been offered "high sums" of money to appear on a television news broadcast. If we kept going, there was definitely going to be a fight. "I am eternally grateful for the messages I have received in recent days".

At trial, she testified that the man formerly known as America's Dad - and formerly viewed by Constand as a mentor - gave her three blue pills he promised would calm her nerves. McCloskey first came forward to a Pittsburgh radio station.

Cosby maintains that the encounter in 2004 was consensual.

"Jurors shall not disclose arguments or comments made, or votes cast, by fellow jurors during deliberations", the judge wrote.

O'Neill sealed the jurors names immediately after jury selection last month in Pittsburgh, citing the media scrutiny.

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