Ten out of 12 jurors in Bill Cosby sex assault trial voted to convict him: report
Ten of the 12 jurors on Bill Cosby’s sex-assault trial reportedly wanted to convict the disgraced comedian — a revelation one of his accusers found heartening Wednesday.
“It makes me hopeful. I am very hopeful. We were so close,” Jewel Allison, one of Cosby’s alleged victims, told the Daily News. Allison, 54, regularly attended the suburban Philadelphia trial that ended with a hung jury on Saturday.
Just two lone holdouts refused to budge during 52 hours of marathon deliberations, forcing the judge to declare a mistrial, a juror who asked to remain anonymous told ABC News.
“(The holdouts were) not moving, no matter what,” the unidentified panelist revealed.
The jury reportedly deadlocked on the charges alleging Cosby drugged chief accuser Andrea Constand, 44, with something that impaired her ability to resist and then penetrated her with his finger without consent.
On the charge that Cosby assaulted Constand while she was unconscious or unaware what was occurring — count No. 2 — the jury vote was 11 to one to acquit, the juror told ABC.
The new insight into the sequestered jury’s grueling week of debate seemed to refute the Cosby camp’s claim that the outcome proved the actor’s innocence.
“People would just start crying out of nowhere, we wouldn’t even be talking about (the case) – and people would just start crying,” the juror who spoke to ABC News said.
Tensions culminated when one male juror punched the concrete wall of the jury room, the jurors said.
“I think he broke his pinky knuckle,” the juror said.
Allison, a Brooklyn poet, said she had a strong hunch that the jury had only one or two members pushing for acquittal.
“To sit in the courtroom and actually listen to the case, it was clear to me that he gave (Constand) something with the intention of having her incapacitated so he could take advantage of her sexually,” Allison told The News.
“The prosecution presented its case in such a powerful and concise manner, and I thought the only thing that would impede upon a conviction would be sexism and celebrity,” she said.
Allison, a former model, first broke her silence in November 2014 in an interview with The News.
She said her agent, Sue Charney sent her to dinner at Cosby’s East Side brownstone in the late 1980s, and Cosby presented himself as a mentor figure who could help her career.
During another dinner a short time later, Cosby fed her wine that “tasted awful” and caused her to feel woozy and ill, she told The News.
She said Cosby took her hand and placed it on his genitals.
Allison said Wednesday she hopes a second jury will convict, but she’s more aware than ever that so much depends on juror attitudes.
“When you have a jury pool of women and men of different age groups and races, we’re not all on the same page. And we have to get on the same page,” she said.
“We still live in a society in which women are portrayed as sex objects. And we’re not Barbie dolls for men to play with sexually,” she said.
Wednesday’s jury revelations came just hours after Montgomery County, Pa., Judge Steven O’Neill unsealed the jurors’ names but ordered them to remain mum on the votes of other panelists.
The guidelines from the judge seemed designed to both protect jurors from an onslaught of media requests and put a chill on any interviews that willing jurors might grant.
“Jurors shall not disclose anything said or done in the jury room by any of their fellow jurors that may indicate his or her thoughts or opinions,” the judge’s ruling obtained by the Daily News said.
“Jurors shall not disclose arguments or comments made, or votes cast, by fellow jurors during deliberations.”
O’Neill explained his reasoning in the ruling.
“This court carefully balanced the rights of the parties to a fair and impartial trial, preservation of the confidentiality of the deliberation process, the privacy concerns of the discharged jurors and the press’s First Amendment rights and finds that, on balance, this court is bound by (a prior Supreme Court decision),” O’Neill wrote. “The names of the jurors must be released.”
Attempts to reach the seven men and five women on the panel were not immediately successful.
“I’m Jonathan’s mother. I’m really not going to say one thing. Sorry about that,” the mother of juror Jonathan Tennyson told The News.
One man who served as an alternate revealed that the panel was spookily silent during the group’s five-hour, post-trial bus ride from suburban Philadelphia — where the trial took place — to the Pittsburgh area, where the jurors were selected.
“It was the craziest, eeriest bus ride I’ve ever taken,” Mike McCloskey, 43, told radio station WDVE-FM.
“I thought there would be a lot of chatter,” he added. “Nobody wanted to talk about it. It was complete silence.”
The trial centered on charges Cosby, 79, drugged and sexually assaulted Constand inside his Elkins Park mansion.
McCloskey said he was “ridiculously sick” over the lack of a verdict and likely would have voted to convict.
The school cafeteria director told NBC that the panel was consensus-challenged from the start.
“We had a hard time deciding where to go for dinner,” he said. “We had so many personalities in the room.”
McCloskey explained how he and the other alternate jurors were kept in a separate conference room while the main jury made their decision.
He said they were instructed to avoid discussing the case because if members on the panel had to drop out, deliberations would start all over again with alternates.
The sequestered jury took up the entire seventh floor of their hotel and had sheriffs stationed near the exits, he explained.
McCloskey sympathized with Constand and lamented she’ll likely have to testify at a second trial. Constand sued Cosby in civil court in 2005 and settled with him privately.
District Attorney Kevin Steele has vowed to retry the criminal case as soon as possible.
“She has to go through it all over again,” McCloskey said of Constand. “It’s really sad for her because literally she’s already gained money from before, so she has nothing really financially to gain out of this. She’s just looking for justice, I believe.”
Asked what evidence he found most compelling, McCloskey pointed to Cosby’s phone conversations with Constand’s mom, Gianna Constand, that took place a year after the alleged attack.
In the calls, Cosby admitted he molested Constand with his fingers after giving her pills he never identified by name.
McCloskey described the phone admissions as “ridiculously creepy.”
“(Cosby) called himself a ‘dirty old man’ to her,” he said, referring to Gianna.
McCloskey recalled being particularly impressed with Gianna’s turn on the witness stand during the trial.
“She would have blown you away. She would have made you cry,” he said. “I’m sitting in this jury box, on the side of the jury, and I wanted to get up and clap for this lady. That’s how good she was.”
Cosby remains free on bail and still faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each carrying a guideline sentence of five to 10 years in prison.
The comedian claims the pills he gave Constand were broken Benadryl tablets and that the sexual contact was consensual.