NORRISTOWN, Pa. >> An alternate juror in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case said today he “probably” would have voted to convict and was “ridiculously sick” when he found out the main jury couldn’t reach a verdict.
A mistrial was declared Saturday after jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked. Prosecutors plan to retry the 79-year-old star on charges he drugged and molested a woman in 2004.
As an alternate, Mike McCloskey heard all the testimony but didn’t participate in deliberations.
He told Pittsburgh radio station WDVE that jurors did not discuss the case on the bus ride after the trial, maintaining “complete silence.” The trial took place outside Philadelphia, but the jury came from the Pittsburgh area.
“It was the craziest, eeriest bus ride I’ve ever taken,” said McCloskey, 43.
McCloskey posted his juror’s badge on Facebook as proof of his role in the case. He did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press today.
Jurors deliberated more than 52 hours over six days before telling a judge they couldn’t break their deadlock. The jurors’ names haven’t been made public and the split on the vote hasn’t been disclosed, shrouding the case in mystery.
Prosecutors are fighting to keep the jurors’ identities a secret, arguing in court documents today that releasing them would result in a “publicity onslaught” and make picking a jury for the second trial more difficult. Media organizations including The Associated Press urged a judge to release them, saying the public has an interest in “confirming that the outcome of the first trial was the result of an impartial process.”
Pennsylvania law allows the public release of jurors’ names, but judges have discretion to keep them a secret under certain conditions.
Judge Steven O’Neill, who presided over the Cosby trial, will hold a hearing Tuesday on the release of the names.
He advised jurors when the trial ended Saturday that they didn’t need to discuss the case.
“It can never be clearer that if you speak up, you could be chilling the justice system in the future if jurors are needed in this case,” O’Neill told them.
Cosby, the actor and comedian once known as “America’s Dad,” was charged with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from Andrea Constand’s allegations that he drugged and violated her at his suburban Philadelphia home. He said the encounter was consensual.
It is not yet clear why jurors could not reach a verdict, or how close they came.
“We get 12 people to agree on sex assault cases all the time, but this is not any case. It’s an old case, it’s a controversial case, it’s a case that involves questions of consent,” said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson.
In a retrial, District Attorney Kevin Steele could ask the judge to allow testimony from more of Cosby’s 60 accusers, or to disclose to jurors that Constand is gay. That never came up in her seven hours of testimony. The defense had hoped, if it did, to introduce evidence she had previously dated a man.
“The key to retrying a case is to do it differently the second time because the defense expects you to do it the same way,” said Constand’s lawyer, Dolores Troiani.
Cosby remains free on $1 million bail in the criminal case. O’Neill could schedule the retrial within weeks.
The entertainer is also battling sexual battery or defamation cases still pending by 10 women in California and Massachusetts. Several of them attended the criminal trial with their lawyers.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.