Prosecutor: Bill Cosby's retrial to be delayed

The comedian's second trial was set to begin in November.

ByABC News
August 22, 2017, 12:41 PM

— -- Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele told reporters Tuesday after a pretrial hearing that the sexual assault retrial involving famed comedian Bill Cosby will be delayed at the defense's request.

It had been scheduled to begin in November.

"We're ready to proceed, as we told you before. We are confident in our case and the evidence and we'll be ready when we get the trial date from the judge," Steele said. "It's a case that deserves a verdict and we have to get there."

This news came after Judge Steven T. O'Neill ruled today that jurors in the retrial will be chosen from Montgomery County, where the trial is being held. The last set of jurors was chosen from Pittsburgh at the request of the 80-year-old comedian's legal team to allow for a more diverse group. That case ended in a mistrial in June.

"We have great potential jurors in this county. We have more than capably demonstrated that we can handle all aspects of the jury selection and the trial," O'Neill said from the bench.

Cosby arrived at the Norristown, Pennsylvania, courthouse for the first pretrial conference in the case with his a new lead attorney, Tom Mesereau, who is replacing Brian McMonagle. Mesereau previously won an acquittal in Michael Jackson's 2005 child molestation trial.

Lawyers Kathleen Bliss and Sam Silver round out Cosby's legal team.

O'Neill, who oversaw the first trial, will be presiding over the second one. He had ordered attorneys to submit jury selection questions and instructions no later than Oct. 30.

Steele, who tried the first case as the district attorney for Montgomery County in Pennsylvania, sought the new trial against Cosby, who has pleaded not guilty.

During the first trial, Andrea Constand testified that in 2004, Cosby gave her pills that rendered her unable to stop his advances, though she said she tried.

“In my head, I was trying to get my hands to move or my legs to move, but I was frozen and those [mental] messages didn’t get there," she testified. "I was very limp, so I wasn’t able to fight him anyway. I wanted it to stop.”

The comedian did not testify during the trial, though portions of a deposition he gave in 2005 and 2006 for a civil lawsuit filed by Constand were read aloud. The lawsuit was settled confidentially, and sealed in 2006. Cosby claimed in that testimony that he gave Benadryl to Constand to relax her, and then they had a consensual sexual encounter.

“I don’t hear her say anything. And I don’t feel her say anything," he said in the deposition. "And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped."

After more than 50 hours of deliberation, the seven men and five women who were selected to serve on the jury were unable to render a unanimous verdict, and Judge O'Neill declared a mistrial on June 17.

One juror, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told ABC News that at one point, 10 out of 12 jurors agreed that Cosby was guilty on two counts.

However, that juror also said that on count one, which alleged Cosby sexually assaulted Constand, and count three, which alleged Cosby gave her an intoxicant that impaired her for the purpose of preventing resistance, the two jurors who never voted to convict were "not moving, no matter what."

McMonagle said in an interview with "Good Morning America" that the justice system worked, and that he was confident that his client would be acquitted if there were a retrial.

"Trust it, believe in it," he said of the system, "and I'm confident that if this case is retried, he'll be acquitted."

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