Cosby jury deliberations, now longer than trial, stretch into Saturday

NORRISTOWN, Pa., June 17 (Reuters) - The jury deliberating entertainer Bill Cosby's fate at his sexual assault trial will return on Saturday after yet another marathon 12-hour session on Friday failed to produce a unanimous verdict.

Since Thursday morning, when the jurors told Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O'Neill they were having trouble reaching agreement, they have spent nearly 24 hours either discussing the case in a conference room or re-hearing trial testimony in the courtroom.

All told, the deliberations, which began on Monday, have lasted approximately 52 hours - longer than the trial testimony.

Cosby's lawyers have repeatedly urged O'Neill to declare a mistrial, given the length of the jury's debate, but the judge said on Friday he could not intervene without a fresh signal that jurors remained deadlocked on the three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

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Bill Cosby departs Montgomery County Courthouse after the fifth day of the sexual assault trail in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 9, 2017. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 12: Camille Cosby enters the courtroom for the sexual assault trial of her husband, entertainer Bill Cosby at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 12, 2017 in in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by David Maialetti-Pool/Getty Images)
Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for the fifth day of the sexual assault trail in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 9, 2017. For the second day the actor and comedian is accompanied by Joe Tory. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Artist Bird Milliken protests as Bill Cosby departs after the fourth day of the sexual assault trial against him, at Montgomery County Court House, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 8, 2017. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 8: Attorney Gloria Allred walks out of the courtroom during a break in the sexual assault trial of actor Bill Cosby at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 8, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez-Pool/Getty Images)
Attorney Gloria Allred speaks to media during a break on the fourth day of the Bill Cosby sexual Assault trial in Morristown, PA, on June 8, 2017. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 7: Bill Cosby walks outside the courtroom during a break on the third day of his sexual assault trial in the Montgomery County Courthouse June 7, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 8: Actor Bill Cosby (R) leaves the courtroom with aide Andrew Wyatt for lunch break in Cosby's trial on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 8, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez-Pool/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 7: Attorney Gloria Allred arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the third day of the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial June 7, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 7: Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the third day of Cosby's sexual assault trial June 7, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 7: Actor Bill Cosby departs for the day after his trial on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 7, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Ed Hille-Pool/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 7: Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the third day of Cosby's sexual assault trial June 7, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Cosby Survivor Lili Bernard and supporter Carolin Heldman outside the Cosby sexual assault trial at Montgomery County Courthouse, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 5, 2017. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 05: Criminal defense attorney Angela Agrusa arrives to the first day of Bill Cosby court trial at Montgomery County Courthouse on June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage)
Actor Bill Cosby departs after the first day of the sexual assault trial against him, at Montgomery County Courthouse, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 5, 2017. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 5: Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse after the opening day of the sexual assault trial June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 5: Actor Bill Cosby (C) arrives with actress Keshia Knight Pulliam (R) and spokesman Andrew Wyatt for Cosby's trial on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by David Maialetti-Pool/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 05: Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is seen leaving the first day of Bill Cosby trial on June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage)
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 5: Bill Cosby arrives with actress Keshia Knight Pulliam (R) at the Montgomery County Courthouse before the opening of the sexual assault trial June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. More than 40 women have accused the 79 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Attorney Gloria Allred arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for the start day of the sexual assault Trial in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on June 5, 2017. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Cosby, 79, once one of the country's most beloved entertainers, is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. About 60 women have made similar allegations, although only Constand's is recent enough to sustain a criminal prosecution.

Cosby has denied all of the accusations, which have shattered the reputation he built as "America's dad" while starring in the 1980s hit TV series "The Cosby Show." He has said the encounter with Constand was consensual.

O'Neill and Cosby's lead lawyer, Brian McMonagle, clashed on Friday, with the defense attorney complaining that the jury was essentially getting a replay of the entire trial. But the judge said he would allow the jury to work toward a verdict as long as it wanted.

O'Neill also appeared to take issue with comments that Cosby's spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, made to the media on Thursday night, when he said the judge should end the trial and send the jurors home for good. McMonagle has said Wyatt was not speaking at his direction.

If the jury cannot break its impasse, the judge would have to declare a mistrial. In that case, prosecutors would have the option of seeking to retry Cosby before a new jury.

The jury has spent days reviewing large chunks of trial testimony, including both Cosby's and Constand's accounts of the night in question.

Cosby did not testify but his version of the encounter was shown to jurors in the form of a police interview he did in 2005, as well as sworn depositions he gave in 2005 and 2006 during Constand's civil lawsuit. (Editing by Frank McGurty and Bill Trott)

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