The Jury in the Bill Cosby Sex Assault Case Says It’s Close to a Verdict


The jurors in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial came close to deciding the case on Friday, but their uncertainty over how to address some remaining issues in reaching a verdict led the judge to decide they should return on Monday to resume their deliberations.

Before they finished the second day of deliberations in the courthouse in Santa Monica, Calif., the judge, Craig D. Karlan, said the jurors had resolved most of the questions on a verdict sheet they were being asked to vote on. But there was no discussion of how the jury had voted on those questions — including one that concerned whether Mr. Cosby should pay damages to Judy Huth, who says he molested her in 1975 at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles when she was 16.

One complicating factor is that one of the 12 jurors who sat through the two days of deliberations needs to be excused, the judge said, so an alternate will take a seat with the panel on Monday and the jurors will have to reconsider most of the issues.

“Unfortunately, you will have to start from scratch,” Judge Karlan said.

It is not clear, though, whether the inclusion of a new juror will have a substantial effect on the deliberations, because only nine of the 12 jurors need to agree on a verdict.

Mr. Cosby, 84, has denied having any sexual encounter with Ms. Huth. He has not been present at the trial, and did not testify after invoking his Fifth Amendment right, but he was heard by the jurors in a videotaped deposition saying that he did not remember ever meeting Ms. Huth.

Ms. Huth’s friend took two photos of Mr. Cosby and Ms. Huth together at the mansion, though, and they have been entered into evidence.

On Thursday, the jurors were given a verdict sheet comprising nine questions they had to answer in turn to help them reach a verdict and decide on any damages.

They had asked the judge for clarifications on a number of the questions, including one that dealt with whether Mr. Cosby was “motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in Ms. Huth, a minor.”

Over the course of 10 days of testimony, the jury heard Ms. Huth’s account that she and her friend had met Mr. Cosby in 1975 in a park in San Marino, Calif., where he was making the film “Let’s Do It Again.”

She and the friend, Donna Samuelson, testified that Mr. Cosby had invited them to his tennis club, and then to the house where he was staying, where he gave them alcohol and got them to follow him in their car to the Playboy Mansion.

In testimony, Ms. Huth, 64, described how, in a bedroom at the mansion, Mr. Cosby had forced her to perform a sex act on him. Mr. Cosby’s lawyers have described Ms. Huth’s account as “a complete and utter fabrication.”

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