It’s not yet out of the woods yet for disgraced comedy actor #Bill Cosby. After a second jury deadlock on his sexual assault case led to a declaration of a mistrial, a judge has finally decided upon a date for the commencement of his retrial for drugging and molesting #Andrea Constand in 2004. So continues the ongoing legal drama that has done much to ruin Cosby’s previous public image as an upstanding paragon of society. The trial proper, which began in June, has already had one prior deadlock. Cosby’s retrial will take place some five months after the inconclusive end of the first.

No win nor loss

On Thursday, July 6, Pennsylvania Court Justice Stephen T. O’Neill of Montgomery County set the date for the sexual assault charge retrial of Bill Cosby on November 6, to be done in a suburban Philadelphia courthouse.

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He was the same judge who received the second hung verdict on June 17 from a jury of seven men and five women that led to his declaration of a mistrial. The deliberations that led to the second deadlock on the case took about 52 hours. “It is neither a vindication or a victory,” O’Neill remarked on that day. “This was the justice system."

The trial, wherein the soon-to-be-80 Cosby is facing no less than three counts of aggravated assault, stems from a 2004 incident related by the plaintiff Andrea Constand, at the time operations manager of the Temple University basketball team in Philadelphia. Constand testified that Cosby drugged her with sedatives that left her body unresponsive at the actor’s suburban estate, whereupon he sexually molested her. Cosby protested his innocence by countering that the drugs he gave her were medication for her allergies and that their sexual contact had been consensual.

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The latter point is denied by Constand, who identifies as a lesbian.

Courtroom politicking

Judge Stephen O’Neill, who was presiding over the Cosby case, himself came into the spotlight for his decision to declare a mistrial following the second jury deadlock from the original trial. This action also came in the wake of a public statement by Bill Cosby’s wife Camille that accused him of “arrogance” in his oversight of the trial as well as “collaborating” with District Attorney Kevin Steele in prosecuting her husband on Andrea Constand’s behalf.

There has been speculation that O’Neill may be replaced with a new trial judge for the second round of the Cosby case in court, although all indications have it that he will continue overseeing it. DA Steele meanwhile is highly impressed with Constand’s incriminatory testimony against the actor, calling her “strong” and courageous. There is no further news yet as to where the next jury to hear the case will be selected from. #Stephen O'Neill