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One member of the hung jury in Bill Cosby’s mistrial said Thursday that the chance of reaching a verdict was “hopeless” from the start and the marathon deliberations got so tense that men and women were crying by the end.
The panel was deeply divided — "up the middle" — as they tried to decide if the comedian was guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004, the anonymous juror told NBC affiliate WPXI in an exclusive interview.
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The juror declined to say how he voted, but called Cosby "very honest" and questioned Constand’s actions, including a yearlong delay in reporting the alleged assault.
He also said it would be a “waste of money” to retry Cosby and thinks the star — who has been accused of sexual misconduct by 50-plus women over the last two years — has been punished enough.
"Whatever the man did, he has already paid his price, paid and suffered," the juror told WPXI. "He’s looking bad. I was wondering if he was going to make it through the whole trial."
Among the juror’s other disclosures:
- When the jury first told the judge it was deadlocked on June 15, the votes on the three counts were 7-5, 5-7, and 5-6 with one abstention. Two days later, the vote on one of the counts was 10-2, but then several jurors changed their minds, making it a more even split again.
- The jury got hung up on legal terms. They struggled over phrases like “reckless,” “severely impaired,” “unconscious,” and “unreasonable” included in the three counts they had to decide. “We needed a dictionary,” the juror said.
- Behind closed doors, the group discussed rumors about the scandal not disclosed during the trial. The juror said he heard scuttlebutt that a judge reached out to Constand and reopened the case because the statute of limitations was about to expire.
Other jurors have declined to speak to NBC News. One alternate who was not part of any deliberations said he would have voted to convict Cosby, who denies Constand’s allegations and the accusations of other women.
The judge released juror names Wednesday but warned them not to disclose any votes cast by fellow jurors or anything said or done in the jury room that would indicate another juror's opinion.
The jury, chosen in Pittsburgh and bused to the courthouse near Philadelphia, was sequestered throughout the 11-day trial. They deliberated in a 13-foot by 16-foot conference room for 12 hours at a stretch.
“It was hopeless, from the first time on,” the juror said.
He said some jurors “zeroed in” on Constand’s actions.
"When you ask for help on your resignation letter, which she did, and Mr. Cosby invites her to his home and she arrived in a bare midriff with incense and bath salts, that’s a question," he said.
The comment appeared to conflate several different incidents: The night of the alleged assault, when Constand discussed her resignation with Cosby; an earlier visit in which she brought incense as a gift; and a later visit in which she said she delivered some bath salts as a favor to a friend.
The juror noted that it took Constand a year to report the alleged assault to police. Referring to testimony from an expert who said that’s not unusual for sexual assault survivors, the juror said, “That’s hard for me to believe.”
The decision not to charge Cosby in 2005 also was a sticking point for the juror, who said he didn’t understand why the investigation was reopened.
“I think they created this whole thing — a case that settled in ‘05 and we had to bring it up again in ‘17 with no new evidence,” he said.
“I asked did they find some stained clothing or something? ... And they [other jurors] said no, it was this judge who opened this dang case.”
It was actually the Montgomery County DA’s office that decided to reopen the case. Prosecutors said their interest was renewed after a judge unsealed Cosby’s damaging deposition in a 2006 civil suit that was filed by Constand and settled out of court.
Parts of that deposition were read to the jury, along with Cosby’s statement to police about the encounter with Constand.
"You could believe from his testimony what he did, but not from hers," the juror said.
He said he thought Cosby’s fame, but not his race, fueled the scandal that paved the way for the criminal case. “He testified these women pursued him,” the juror said, apparently referencing parts of Cosby’s deposition in which he discussed affairs with other women.
By the juror’s account, the panel’s votes did not split by race, gender or age. “There was a real mix,” he said.
After five long days and nights, emotions boiled over, though he shot down a report that a male juror smashed his hand into a concrete wall in frustration.
“There were crying by men and women — and more than one,” he said. “Tears came towards the end, it was so tense.”
Cosby pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting Constand and said the encounter was consensual. He has also denied accusations of misconduct by more than 50 other women and sued some of them for defamation.