Bill Cosby’s attorney worried about comedian’s health
June 18 (UPI) — Bill Cosby‘s defense attorney said he is “greatly concerned for his health” after the aggravated indecent assault trial for the 79-year-old entertainer ended in a mistrial.
Attorney Brian McMonagle spoke with Jean Casarez of CNN after jurors were deadlocked Saturday in the case near Philadelphia.
“I have been greatly concerned for his health, I don’t know if I can survive what he survived this week,” the attorney said. “It was difficult for me, and I have no idea how he managed to sit in a room and endure while strangers were deciding his destiny and his fate.”
But the comedian was positive, McMonagle said.
“During some of the most painfully, aggravating parts of our trial, particularly jury deliberations it was he who was keeping us going,” he said. “Telling us stories, telling us jokes, making us smile.”
Cosby was charged with drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, the former director of operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball team, at his home near Philadelphia in January 2004.
The 12 jurors were unable to come to a unanimous decision beyond a reasonable doubt after six days of deliberations.
After the judge declared a mistrial, prosecutors announced they would retry the case. The judge said he hopes to schedule a new trial within 120 days.
“It became a great concern of mine that these people had deliberated longer than the case had taken to try. Once people say they are deadlocked, then what really becomes the reason for further deliberations?” McMonagle said.
In late 2014, dozens of women publicly accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting for decades. In July 2015, a judge unsealed Cosby’s deposition in the 2006 civil lawsuit. Montgomery County prosecutors then filed charges against him.
“Imagine it’s you being asked to defend age-old accusations — how do you defend that?” he said. “Mr. Cosby is fortunate he is able to afford good counsel and has resources to conduct investigations.”
“Waiting so long, when people have died. Witnesses are gone,” he said. “We kept running into walls trying to investigate the accusations because there’s nothing left.”
Cosby is legally blind and uses a cane.
McMonagle said being charged was “hard on him.”
“When he got there, he had been awakened at home by us, told that he had to get here,” the lawyer said. “He’s blind, he’s about 80 years old and my heart really broke for him that day. When we got there we didn’t have security and people were diving on our cars. I’ve handled a lot of cases but I wasn’t quite prepared for what I would see.”
Cosby’s wife, Camille, attacked the prosecutors, the media and the judge in a statement after the mistrial.
“How do I describe the district attorney? Heinously and exploitively ambitious,” it began. “How do I describe the judge? Overtly and arrogantly collaborating with the district attorney.”
After the verdict, Cosby by sat alone — off to the side and all but overlooked — clutching his cane to his chest and staring silently into the distance.
District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said he did not know why the jurors could not come to a unanimous decision. He said prosecutors would reevaluate the evidence and witnesses.
“This is a case we know has been important for sexual-assault victims everywhere,” Steele said.
He said Constand “has shown such courage through this. … She’s entitled to a verdict in this case.”
During testimony, Constant said she became frozen after Cosby drugged her. While on the stand, Constand said she rejected Cosby’s casual sexual advances twice before he offered her three blue pills after dinner during one encounter.
Constand lost consciousness after Cosby helped her to the couch and provided a pillow for support, she said. She later awoke in the middle of the sexual assault as he was groping her, Constand said.