Comedian Bill Cosby is on trial in Pennsylvania for allegations of sexual misconduct against college basketball star Andrea Constand. After three days of deliberation, the jury reported that it has reached a Deadlock and was sent back to continue deliberations.

Jury in deadlock

On Thursday June 15, 2017 jurors in the controversial Bill Cosby trial announced that they had reached a deadlock after three days (totaling approximately 31 hours) of deliberation. Cosby is being tried for three cases of aggravated assault against former Temple University women's basketball player Andrea Constand. The jury (composed of 7 men and 5 women) has been sequestered in a hotel in Alleghany County Pennsylvania since the start of the trial and began deliberations on Monday, June 12.

The jury made a statement explaining they had reached a deadlock in front of the court before it was requested by Judge Steven O'Neill that they return to deliberations. In Pennsylvania this tactic is known as the Spencer Charge. With the Spencer Charge, jurors are asked to return to deliberations, with each re-evaluating their own decision. It is intended as a way of adding a new perspective to a case, with the hope of achieving a fair trial. There is no limit to the amount of times that a judge can implement a Spencer Charge. If the jury is unable to break the deadlock despite further deliberation, a mistrial may be called in the case.

Cosby's fall from grace

The disgraced comedian was once a beloved American icon whose reputation has been tarnished after incidents of sexual misconduct came to light.

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In October 2014, many victims came forward after a different comedian suggested that Cosby had a history of sexual violence. Since then, approximately 60 women have come forward to report cases of sexual assault against Cosby. The victims of these attacks describe in vivid detail incidences in which Cosby drugged them before proceeding to sexually assault them. The women who have come forward maintain that consent was not obtained before Cosby performed these sexual acts.

Although 60 women have come forward, many states have a statute of limitation in place dictating how long a victim has to report an incident of sexual assault, rape, or sexual misconduct. These statutes of limitation prevent almost all of the women who made allegations against Cosby from taking him to trial. As some of these incidents date back to the 1960s, many women have exceeded the statute of limitations which is typically between ten to fifteen years, depending on in which state the attack occurred. Only Andrea Constand's case is within the statue of limitations, and as a result, Cosby will only be tried for misconduct against the former basketball star. Cosby could face up to ten years in prison if convicted.