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Bill Cosby to hold town halls about sexual assault: spokespeople

ALABAMA — After Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial ended in a hung jury, the 79-year-old comedian has plans to “get back to work” with a series of town halls seemingly about how to avoid being accused of such a crime, his spokespeople said.

“This is bigger than Bill Cosby,” publicist Andrew Wyatt told WBRC in Alabama.

“This issue could affect any young person, especially young athletes of today and they need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they’re doing certain things they shouldn’t be doing. And it also affects married men.”

Wyatt said they’re planning to hold a town hall in Alabama “sometime in July.”

A spokeswoman for Cosby’s wife, Camille, said the town halls will teach about recently obtained legal recourse for victims of sexual assault, namely that victims now have more time to report the alleged crimes.

“Laws are changing,” Ebonee Benson said. “The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended so this is why people need to educated on a brush against the shoulder, you know, anything at this point can be considered sexual assault and it’s a good thing to be educated about the laws.”

In recent years, dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them, with many allegeding that he drugged them before the assault.

The case that went to trial was brought by Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who accused Cosby of penetrating her with his fingers after giving her pills that left her woozy and unable to tell him to stop.

Cosby said the 2004 encounter at his Philadelphia-area home was consensual.

A jury deliberated for 52 hours before a mistrial was declared on June 17, with two holdouts preventing a guilty verdict on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. A prosecutor plans to put Cosby on trial again.

There was 10-year delay in bringing charges against him.

District Attorney Kevin Steele won election in November 2015 by defeating Bruce Castor, who was seeking to return to the office he once held. Castor was the prosecutor who decided in 2005 not to bring charges against Cosby, which Steele brought up during the campaign. Cosby was charged in December 2015.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.