For the time being at least, Bill Cosby will continue to walk the streets a free man. Today, a day before Father’s Day, a jury could not reach a verdict in its deliberations over the guilt/innocence of the star of “The Cosby Show” where his starring role as Cliff Huxtable once earned him the moniker of “America’s Dad.”
That was twenty-five years ago and with the varnish long worn off his sterling reputation, for the past six days Cosby’s fate has hung in the hands of a jury deliberating evidence presented against him. A finding of ‘guilty’ could have sent Cosby away for the rest of his life; however the jury has now informed the presiding judge in the trial that they are unable to reach a decision which has resulted in a mistrial.
From Fox News:
“Bill Cosby’s trial on sexual assault charges ended in a mistrial on Saturday after jurors failed to break a deadlock after more than 52 hours of deliberations over six days.
The jury confirmed to the judge that they could not reach a unanimous decision on whether “The Cosby Show” star drugged and molested Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.
Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial for the 79-year-old comedian.
The 79-year-old star is charged with three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault. The charges each carry a standard sentence range of five to 10 years in prison, but legal experts say the sentence for each count should run concurrently under Pennsylvania law since they all cover the same incident and conduct. That means the once-celebrated actor is facing up to 10 years behind bars.
The judge lauded the jury on Wednesday night. “This is an incredible jury that has just acted with incredible dignity and fidelity,” O’Neill said. “I don’t have any higher praise. You have taken your task so seriously.” On Thursday, he told them it was “too early” for them to determine they were deadlocked and asked them to give it another go, but ultimately they could not reach a verdict.
For now, Cosby’s fate remains unclear. The judge could decide to retry the comedian or Cosby could walk away a free man.
(Cosby’s) reputation was slowly torn to pieces as dozens of women came forward, beginning in 2014, and accused him of drugging them, assaulting them or both. Their stories were all eerily similar and eventually led to the star being ostracized by Hollywood.
It appears that America’s Dad has avoided becoming “America’s Most Famous Prisoner.” For now at least.
[Note: This article was written by Derrick Wilburn]