On Day 5, Cosby jury asks for definition of reasonable doubt

Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial, Friday, June 16, 2017, in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

NORRISTOWN, PA (AP) — Jurors considering the fate of Bill Cosby at his sexual assault trial asked for a definition of “reasonable doubt” on their fifth day of deliberations Friday, a day after telling the judge they were deadlocked on all charges.

The panel also reheard parts of Cosby’s lurid deposition testimony in which he acknowledged giving quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with. Cosby gave the deposition more than a decade ago as part of accuser Andrea Constand’s lawsuit against him.

The 79-year-old comedian is charged with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault over allegations that he drugged and sexually violated Constand, 44. A conviction could put him in prison for the rest of his life.

Jurors made the requests a few minutes after resuming deliberations Friday. They have been working for more than 40 hours since getting the case on Monday.

The TV star said in a 2006 deposition that he got seven prescriptions for quaaludes in the 1970s after telling his doctor he had a sore back. Cosby said he never took the powerful sedative, preferring to keep it on hand for social situations.

“When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?” Cosby was asked.

“Yes,” he answered.

But he said he no longer had them when he met Constand in 2002 at Temple University.

Cosby has said he gave Constand the cold and allergy medicine Benadryl before their sexual encounter at his home two years later. Prosecutors have suggested he might have given her quaaludes, a highly popular party drug in the 1970s that was banned in the U.S. in 1982.

Cosby’s lawyer said he and Constand were lovers sharing a consensual moment of intimacy.

The jury resumed deliberations after having the testimony read back to them and listening again to the definition of reasonable doubt, the threshold that prosecutions must cross to win a conviction.

Judge Steven O’Neill said Friday that defense lawyers have made at least four bids for a mistrial as the deliberations have worn on without a verdict. But he said he’d let the jurors work as long as they wanted. The judge brought Cosby into court to make sure he’d approved of the mistrial requests, asking the comedian if he knew that a mistrial would mean he could be prosecuted again.

O’Neill also called out Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt for taking to the courthouse steps and telling reporters the case should end in a mistrial.

“You have a spokesman who is explaining to the media what a mistrial means — at least what he believes a mistrial is,” O’Neill told Cosby in court.

Wyatt had said the deadlock showed that jurors doubted Constand’s story.

“They’re conflicted about the inconsistencies in Ms. Constand’s testimony,” he told reporters on Thursday. “And they’re hearing Mr. C.’s testimony, and he’s extremely truthful. And that’s created this doubt.”

Constand’s lawyer, Dolores Troiani, said only that the “jury is apparently working very hard.” The district attorney’s office declined to comment.

Jurors continued their work a day after telling the judge they were unable to reach agreement on a unanimous verdict. O’Neill told them to continue deliberations in the hopes of breaking their impasse.

Dozens of women have come forward to say Cosby had drugged and assaulted them, but this was the only case to result in criminal charges.

The jury must come to a unanimous decision to convict or acquit. If the panel can’t break the deadlock, the judge could declare a hung jury and a mistrial. In that case, prosecutors would get four months to decide whether they want to retry the TV star or drop the charges.

The case has already helped demolish his image as America’s Dad, cultivated during his eight-year run as kindly Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-rated “The Cosby Show” in the 1980s and ’90s.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

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