Andrea Constand Comforted Other Women As The Bill Cosby Mistrial Was Declared
A Pennsylvania judge declared a mistrial in the Bill Cosby sexual assault case Saturday after the jury announced they were unable to render a unanimous verdict following six days of deliberation. While some of Cosby's other accusers reacted tearfully to news of the mistrial, Andrea Constand, the woman Cosby has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting more than 10 years ago, was reported to be comforting others in the courtroom. Cosby has denied all allegations of sexual assault levied against him.
The Washington Post's Manuel Roig-Franzia reported Constand "stood respectfully, with a strained smile on her face" as the jury filed out of the courtroom Saturday after announcing they were "hopelessly deadlocked." According to the Post, Constand remained in the courtroom to exchange hugs with six women who have also accused Cosby of sexual assault but were not a part of this trial.
BuzzFeed reporter Claudia Rosenbaum said Constand appeared "in good spirits" following the mistrial announcement and could be seen comforting and rubbing the backs of her supporters and Cosby's other alleged victims in a series of tweets published Saturday.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, who brought the charges against Cosby, said Saturday he will retry the case. In a press conference held shortly after the mistrial was announced, Steele said Constand was "courageous" and "a positive person" who "has kept all of us going through a number of days when we were waiting for a jury to come back."
"She has been positive in every way and continues to be," Steele said, adding Constand had indicated she would continue to cooperate with prosecutors. "I look forward to her getting a verdict in the case."
Although nearly 60 women have publicly accused Cosby of sexual assault — charges his legal team has vehemently denied — Constand's allegations are the only to have led to criminal charges. Constand alleges that the once-beloved TV dad drugged and sexually assaulted her in his home when she was an employee at his alma mater, Temple University. Cosby, however, has maintained that he only had consensual sexual relations with Constand, that she never said "no," and that the only drug he ever gave her was Benadryl.
Prosecutors had reportedly chosen not to pursue a case against Cosby when Constand first came forward in 2005 due to "insufficient, admissible, and reliable evidence upon which to base a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt," former Montgomery County prosecutor Bruce Castor said back in 2014 during an interview with NBC10 in Philadelphia.
Cosby is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault and could face up to 10 years in prison.