Another juror in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial came forward Monday — the first to go on camera — and said the mistrial in the 13-year-old case was due to a lack of convincing evidence for all 12 jurors to agree unanimously on a verdict.
Bobby Dugan, 21, one of the youngest of the seven men and five women on the jury, spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer,Philadelphia Daily News and to ABC's Good Morning America, becoming the first of the deadlocked jury to appear on camera and with his name attached to his comments.
He said the jury tried hard, some to the point of tears, but were unable to convict Cosby for a common reason criminal trials fail, especially so long after the alleged crime.
"Evidence," he said. "We all said it a million times in the room. If there's other evidence, more substantial evidence, we would have had a better verdict than deadlock."
Dugan's comments were circumspect in that he followed Judge Steven O'Neill's instructions to the jurors not to discuss how other jurors voted over their 52 hours of deliberations over five days, ending June 17 in a deadlock that led O'Neill to declare a mistrial in Norristown, Pa., in suburban Philadelphia.
This latest glimpse inside the tense deliberations in the Cosby trial adds little to the already conflicting public record about how the jurors were split and what it was that divided them. At least two other anonymous jurors have been interviewed by the media and had different accounts of the jury's votes, from narrowly split to widely split.
Dugan said he voted to convict Cosby on all three charged counts of aggravated indecent sexual assault stemming from an encounter with ex-Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his nearby home in 2004. Constand says he drugged and molested her; Cosby says their encounter was consensual.
Dugan said he was persuaded by other jurors' arguments during deliberations, but the key factor for him was when the jury reviewed trial transcripts of Cosby's own words during a deposition he gave in 2005 in connection with Constand's civil suit against him.
“When they were asking him, ‘Would you use the word consent?’ he said, ‘I wouldn’t use that word,' ” Dugan said in his ABC interview. “I was like, ‘you pretty much said it there yourself, man.'”
Dugan agreed the case came down to he-said-she-said, given the lack of any physical or forensic evidence, but that he believed Constand was more credible than Cosby. (One of the anonymous jurors interviewed last week said the opposite.)
Although the tax-paying public might be curious about the identities of the jurors (they were picked in Pittsburgh and sequestered in Norristown) and what happened in the jury room, O'Neill ruled that the public was entitled only to know the names, not about their deliberations.
But the lawyers in the case, especially District Attorney Kevin Steele, would want to know as much as they can about the deliberations. After the mistrial, Steele declared he would retry the case (O'Neill will rule on that within a few months), so how the jury voted and what hung them up would be of crucial importance to both sides' strategies at a new trial in order to avoid a repeat.
It's not likely Steele is going to find any "new evidence" to help him prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a new jury that Cosby sexually assaulted Constand.
Instead, Steele will have to persuade O'Neill to allow more of the five-dozen women who have accused Cosby of drugging and/or raping them going back decades, to testify at a new trial as "prior bad acts" witnesses. For this trial, O'Neill allowed only one such witness to testify and her story was partially undermined on cross-examination.
Dugan said he's not sure if a new trial will have a different outcome but he hopes there will be one and that a new jury will be unanimous. "You should always have a verdict, one way or another," he said.
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