That seems less likely now for a number of reasons. There was a moment after the mistrial when some speculated that District Attorney Kevin Steele might not re-try Cosby.
It is now looking like he definitely made the right decision to forge ahead again. For the first trial, even though over 50 women have said that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them, the judge limited corroborating testimony to one other woman.
That was a mistake in my view. Here is how an alternate juror explained it: With the additional victims, the jury can see that there is a pattern here, not just a random evening. Second, the public is more knowledgeable about the facts of the incidence of sexual assault than it was a year ago. Because the MeToo movement has brought into the public square so many victims of famous men. I beg to differ. The movement has nicely educated the public about the incidence of such assault and abuse.
As we have seen again and again, there is a tendency to treat the celebrity we loved or revered as sacrosanct. It takes the sunlight of this cultural change to let the facts filter through the cloud of a sterling reputation.
It turns out that many of them felt like no one would believe them. That was true of the first witness, Heidi Thomas, this time around. Check off this factor for Thomas , too, who said she also kept the matter secret because she feared affecting her young modeling career. She also blamed herself , which we know is what victimized women often do. Indeed, we have a term for it when other people do it: It happens a lot when powerful men are accused.
In short, this first witness set the stage for the jurors to understand how Cosby could have so many victims who were not vocal about the assaults. With so many women echoing similar themes over the last year, she was credible. That might show that he was just trying to get rid of an annoying lawsuit. In fact, the sheer size of the settlement indicates he knew he was in actual trouble.
Surely that will not be lost on the jury. The new evidence and this new era bode well for the prosecutor taking on Bill Cosby again. But I honestly believe that the first outcome was a result of unfortunate evidentiary rulings, not an indictment of rape victims generally.
One can never be certain about what a jury will do, but this time around, this jury is getting a much clearer picture of the defendant right in front of them.