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Jury to start over Monday in Bill Cosby civil trial after unanswered question

Jury deliberations in Bill Cosby's civil trial over Judy Huth's allegations that he molested her in 1975 will resume on Monday. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/cd57e4c470e0cc65b3d8cdd07082c9b0/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Jury deliberations in Bill Cosby's civil trial over Judy Huth's allegations that he molested her in 1975 will resume on Monday. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 18 (UPI) -- Jurors in Bill Cosby's civil trial over allegations he molested Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion in 1975 will have to start over on Monday after the panel left one question unanswered.

The jury left the question of whether Cosby, 84, acted with "malice, oppression or fraud" -- which would trigger punitive damages -- unanswered by day's end on Friday, Variety reported.

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The question was one of nine the jurors were asked to answer on a verdict sheet.

Jurors had reached a verdict on the eight other questions on the second day of deliberations in Santa Monica Court, including whether Cosby sexually molested Huth, whether she was under 18, and whether Cosby had reason to know her age, among other questions.

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The judge said the jury will have to reconsider questions when it resumes deliberations Monday because the jury foreperson needed to be excused for a pre-planned trip.

An alternate juror will take her seat Monday.

"Unfortunately, you will have to start from scratch," Judge Karlan said, The New York Times reported.

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It's not clear whether the new juror will affect deliberations since only nine of the 12 jurors are needed to agree on a verdict on each of the questions.

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Earlier on Friday, Cosby's attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, motioned for a mistrial, alleging that Lili Bernard, an accuser in a separate Cosby civil case, was seen walking with one of the jurors during a break, and arguing that Bernard was involved in jury tampering. But Bernard and the juror denied any improper conversation, and Karlan rejected the motion.

Jurors asked the judge 10 questions about definitions of various terms on the verdict form, and indicated they were have difficulty agreeing on the amount of damages.

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Bonjean appeared frustrated with what the questions revealed about deliberations, saying at least nine jurors wanted to "punish" Cosby for his overall sexual behavior, Variety reported.

Huth filed the civil lawsuit in 2014, but civil suits were largely put on hold as prosecutors pursued a criminal case in Pennsylvania that resulted in a 2018 conviction on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his criminal conviction last year and freed him from prison, ruling that there was a due process violation because Cosby had an agreement with a previous prosecutor that he wouldn't be charged in the case.

Cosby has denied all allegations of sexual assault.

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