Bill Cosby's sexual assault case ends in a mistrial

Comedian Cosby, 79, was facing up to 30 years behind bars on three charges of aggravated indecent assault, accused of drugging and sexually molesting Andrea Constand, a former Temple University basketball manager, at his home in 2004.

Prosecutors found themselves back to square one Saturday after the judge declared a mistrial following more than 52 hours of deliberations over six days.

Bill Cosby talks to the news media as he leaves the Allegheny County Courthouse on May 24, 2017, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The criminal case against Mr Cosby partly stems from the accuser's related lawsuit. And a federal judge dismissed a ninth accuser's case, finding her complaint inadequate.

After the mistrial, Constand doled out hugs to her mother, prosecutors and some of the other women who say the TV star drugged and abused them.

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The alleged assault that sparked the charges took place in early 2004 after Cosby invited Constand to his home in Elkins Park, just outside Philadelphia, to discuss her career plans. Cosby's wife, Camille - who skipped all but the defence closing argument - issued a blistering statement Saturday. For the last few years, his TV shows, films, and recorded stand-up performances, one-time broadcast staples, have been considered too toxic to touch, and with the mistrial, they are likely to remain so.

Cosby, on the contrary, said Constand never stopped him when he made his moves.

Cosby was immediately told to expect a retrial by Montgomery County's District Attorney's Office.

Celebrities are reacting to the news of Bill Cosby's sexual assault mistrial.

Under questioning from her lawyer, Cosby acknowledged that he had obtained several prescriptions for quaaludes in the 1970s for the goal of offering the powerful sedative to women he wanted to have sex with.

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According to prosecutors, Andrea Constand deserves a verdict in the Bill Cosby sex assault case. A trial date may be set later this month for the sexual battery case. 'How do I describe the judge? "Devastated, but the work goes on", she said of the outcome.

The defense has said Cosby and Constand were lovers sharing a consensual moment of intimacy.

Two women jurors who appeared to be in their 30s or 40s looked anguished when they announced the final deadlock, wiping away tears with tissues handed to them by a sympathetic young man sitting between them.

By Thursday morning, after almost 30 hours of discussions spanning three days, the jurors told O'Neill they were at a stalemate. "I see you. I love you". "T he prosecution needed 12 for a verdict - the defense only needed one for a mistrial". Many more were still expressing outrage that the Minnesota police officer who shot Philado Castile was acquitted Friday. "It's an old case, it's a controversial case, it's a case that involves questions of consent", said professor Laurie Levenson, of Loyola Law School.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done. "I said to this jury "listen, we don't run from the fact that this is a man who by his own admission danced outside his marriage".

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