A juror in the criminal trial of Bill Cosby said testimony from a second woman who said she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby did not weigh heavily in the panel’s 52 hours of deliberations. Prosecutors had thought the additional accuser would have shown jurors Cosby had a pattern of behavior.
What’s more, the juror said in an interview with WHYY, had the group of seven men and five women heard from more accusers, the panel still would have deadlocked on whether alleged victim Andrea Constand’s story was truthful.
Juror Bobby Dugan, 21, said that — prior to the trial — he had known about some of Cosby’s accusers going public. But, the Pittsburgh resident said, he did not form any judgments about Cosby’s guilt or innocence.
“Two years ago, I heard something about it, but I thought it was all said and done. When I was called in, it was kind of a shock,” he said.
When Dugan listened in court to what Cosby said in a 2005 civil deposition, he was persuaded that Cosby should be convicted.
“He was asked, ‘Would you use the word consent,’ and he said, ‘I wouldn’t use that word,'” Dugan said. “That was convincing.”
In the deposition, Cosby said he went “somewhere between permission and rejection,” saying he never verbally sought consent from Constand during some of their sexual encounters.
“In my opinion, consent is a verbal agreement, and that’s the way it should be, and that’s the way it always has been. It’s a verbal agreement. If there is no verbal agreement, then there is no consent,” Dugan said.
Dugan said he pushed other jurors to convict Cosby of two of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault, which each carried the maximum possible punishment of 10 years in prison in Pennsylvania.
One count for accuser Andrea Constand’s inability to consent, another because Constand was allegedly unconscious, and a third triggered because Cosby is accused of drugging her.
And this is how Dugan believed the jury should have come down on the three counts: “Guilty for a lack of consent. Not guilty that she was unconscious, and, then, guilty for the drugging.”
In the narrative that Constand gave of her 2004 night at Cosby’s Cheltenham mansion, the count connected with her being unconscious was the flimsiest, he said. The debate among jurors about her state of awareness during the alleged assault made him believe that it was too doubtful to convict on that count.
“She woke up to being digitally penetrated but went back to sleep,” Dugan said. “I didn’t believe that a sudden jolt to the system would let her fall back to sleep right away.”
But others in the room wanted to acquit Cosby of all three counts. It was emotional, Dugan said, with four jurors crying near the end of deliberations, while another paced restlessly.
“Time went on and on. People would get more stressed, frustrated. They just wanted to go back home, see their family, go back to their normal lives. So, I’d say things got heated,” Dugan said. “But nothing too serious. It was a raised voice here, not yelling, just a raised voice, and everyone eventually calmed back down. But it was tense, to say the least.”
Discrepancy on final juror tally
He would not discuss the final vote count, and there have been conflicting reports. One juror who spoke to ABC News said that it was 10-2 in favor of convicting Cosby; another report from the Associated Press quoted a juror saying the panel was evenly split.
Before the WHYY interview, Dugan shared his views on camera with “Good Morning America.”
Dugan said it was dispiriting to leave the case unresolved after so much deliberation. The jury in Cosby’s next trial, he hopes, will decide on a unanimous verdict.
“She had a story,” Dugan said of Constand’s more than seven hours on the stand. “And she wanted to get it out there.”
Growing up, Dugan said he would sometimes catch reruns of ” The Cosby Show,” but he never harbored strong opinions about the comedian.
Prosecutors have vowed to push ahead for a second trial of the 79-year-old comedian. Cosby left the courtroom earlier this month with the first criminal charges filed against him in limbo following six days of intense juror deliberations that ended in a mistrial.
A major question ahead of the new trial is whether prosecutors will attempt to reopen the issue of bringing in additional “prior bad act” witnesses. The judge presiding over the Cosby case agreed to allow one accuser in addition to Constand, who said she was drugged and molested by Cosby in 2004.
Prosecutors had hoped to call 13 other accusers. And some court watchers have speculated that if the judge approved more than the one additional witness, perhaps a verdict would have been reached. Dugan, however, doesn’t believe that.
Dugan said the tearful testimony of Kelly Johnson — who said Cosby assaulted her in the 1990s at a Los Angeles bungalow after having swallowed a large white pill — was not pivotal to the jury. Although similar to Constand’s account, the story was unrelated to the criminal charges, and thus did not become the subject of much juror debate.
“We were there for Andrea Constand, not Kelly Johnson,” Dugan said.