Bill Cosby found guilty of drugging, sexually assaulting woman in retrial

Bill Cosby

On Thursday, Bill Cosby was found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home 14 years ago, the New York Times and others reported.  Breitbart called it the “first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era, completing the spectacular late-life downfall of a comedian who broke racial barriers in Hollywood on his way to TV superstardom as America’s Dad.”

According to Breitbart:

Cosby, 80, could end up spending his final years in prison after a jury concluded he sexually violated Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He claimed the encounter was consensual.

The verdict came after a two-week retrial in which prosecutors put five other women on the stand who testified that Cosby, married for 54 years, drugged and violated them, too. One of those women asked him through her tears, “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?”

The panel of seven men and five women reached a verdict after deliberating 14 hours over two days, vindicating prosecutors’ decision to retry Cosby after his first trial ended with a hung jury less than a year ago.

Cosby, the report said, could receive up to 10 years in prison for each of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He will likely get less than that under state sentencing guidelines, Breitbart said, adding that “given his age, even a modest term could mean he will die behind bars.”

The Times, however, said the sentences could be served concurrently.

“The time for the defendant to escape justice is over,” prosecutor Stewart Ryan said. “It’s finally time for the defendant to dine on the banquet of his own consequences.”

During the trial, Cosby snapped in a way that certainly didn’t fit his image as the calm and collected “Dr. Huxtable.”

According to the Times (Edited for graphic language):

The Montgomery County district attorney, Kevin R. Steele, asked that Mr. Cosby’s $1 million bail be revoked, suggesting he had been convicted of a serious crime, owned a plane and could flee, prompting an angry outburst from Mr. Cosby, who shouted, “He doesn’t have a plane, you a*shole.”

“Enough of that,” said Judge Steven T. O’Neill. He did not view Mr. Cosby as a flight risk, he said, adding that Mr. Cosby could be released on bail but authorities would continue to hold his passport and he would have to remain in his nearby home. He did not set a sentencing date.

Judge O’Neill, the Times further said, “praised the jurors, calling it ‘an extraordinarily difficult case’ and adding, ‘You have sacrificed much, but you have sacrificed in the service of justice.'”

The Times said that Cosby faces civil actions from several other accusers, noting that “many of whom are suing him for defamation because, they say, he or his staff branded them as liars by dismissing their allegations as fabrications.”

Cosby’s lead attorney, Thomas A. Mesereau Jr., said his client would appeal. “We are very disappointed by the verdict,” he said. “We don’t believe Mr. Cosby is guilty of anything.”

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