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'Two jurors blocked Bill Cosby conviction'

Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial ended in a hung jury because two members refused to convict the 79-year-old after 52 hours of deliberations, one juror has said.

The juror told ABC News that the jury could not reach a consensus after deadlocking at 10-2 to convict Cosby on the first and third counts and 11-1 to acquit on the second count.

The two dissenters were "not moving, no matter what," the juror told the TV network.

The juror said the majority had initially wanted to acquit Cosby on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Andrea Constand claimed Cosby drugged and molested her at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. The comic actor said the encounter with the former director of women's basketball operations at his alma mater, Temple University, was consensual.

ABC published the interview after Judge Steven O'Neill ordered the public release of the jurors' names, granting a request by a dozen media organisations, including the Associated Press and the major TV networks.

Judge O'Neill warned jurors not to divulge what fellow jurors said during deliberations.

The Associated Press tried contacting jurors for comment on Wednesday but was not immediately able to reach any of them.

The juror who spoke to ABC said tensions were high as deliberations wore on in a cramped back room.

One juror punched a wall in frustration, the juror added.

"If we kept going, there was definitely going to be a fight," the juror said. "They had five sheriff's deputies at the door and they could hear us and they kept coming in because they thought we were already fighting."

The jury was selected from the Pittsburgh area and spent two weeks sequestered 300 miles from home.

According to the juror who spoke to ABC, the majority of jurors wanted to convict Cosby on counts alleging he lacked consent when he penetrated Ms Constand with his fingers and that he gave her an intoxicant which substantially impaired her and stopped her from resisting.

The juror said all but one member wanted to acquit Cosby on the other count, alleging Ms Constand was unconscious or semi-conscious at the time and could not give consent.

The jury reported a deadlock after about 30 hours of deliberations over four days, but kept trying after Judge O'Neill read what is known as a "dynamite" charge. The juror who spoke to ABC News said the extra time did not change anyone's mind.

Judge O'Neill released the jurors' names after lawyers for news outlets argued they should be public to ensure transparency in the judicial process. Prosecutors and defence lawyers had argued they should remain secret, saying releasing them would make it more difficult to select a jury in Cosby's second trial.

District Attorney Kevin Steele has already said he will retry Cosby, and Judge O'Neill said he wants that to happen within four months.

The judge cited the media's First Amendment rights and Supreme Court precedent in ordering the release of the names. But he forbade jurors from talking about what other members of the jury said in the deliberating room or from revealing any votes cast in the case.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Ms Constand has done.

AP

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