Prosecutors vow to retry legendary comedian on sex assault charges

The judge presiding over the Bill Cosby case declared a mistrial Saturday after the jury failed to reach a verdict after deliberating for more than 50 hours.

The 79-year-old comedian faced three charges of aggravated indecent assault linked to the alleged drugging and molestation of a university employee in 2004.

Prosecutors have vowed to retry the case.

Cosby has been an icon in the black community following a successful career in comedy, including playing the lead role in his eponymous Cosby Show, which ran for nearly a decade from 1984 until 1992.

But mounting charges of sexual misconduct have tarnished his once sterling reputation.

Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee, said Cosby gave her pills that rendered her paralyzed before he penetrated her with his fingers as she lay prone, unable to resist.

More than 60 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual misconduct, alleging a pattern of sexual abuse over decades.

Cosby has been married for 50 years.

His defense team acknowledged Cosby and Constand had a sexual encounter, but said it was consensual. Defense lawyer Brian McMonagle told the jury his client had been unfaithful to his wife that was not against the law.

The defense sought to emphasize inconsistencies in Constand's testimony upon cross examination, according to multiple media reports.

A statement from Cosby's wife, Camille, that was delivered by a spokeswoman called the presiding judge and district attorney "totally unethical.

"How do I describe many, but not all, general media? Blatantly vicious entities that continually disseminated intentional omissions of truths for the primary purpose of greedily selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life," Cosby's wife added.

Constand's case was opened more than a decade after the initial offense, which she reported in 2005, by a new district attorney. The government lawyer charged Cosby shortly before the statute of limitations was to expire.

AA