Friday, April 27, 2018

Bill Cosby Found Guilty Of Sexual Assault In Retrial

80-year-old, Bill Cosby, who once embodied the idealized American father on a wildly popular sitcom, was convicted of sexual assault on Thursday in a high-stakes retrial after a half-dozen women testified that the famed comedian drugged and assaulted them.

The jury found Cosby, guilty on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in a Philadelphia suburb in 2004. 

The verdict was one of the first major courtroom victories for the #MeToo movement, which has exposed sexual harassment and misconduct in entertainment, media, politics and beyond.

The first trial ended with a hung jury after six days of deliberations last summer. When the jury announced its decision Thursday, Mr. Cosby sat back in his chair and quietly stared down. Several women who have accused him of abuse, and attended the trial each day, briefly cheered. Ms. Constand, who had been quiet throughout, stood up and was hugged by supporters, including her lawyer.

“I was kind of jolted awake and felt Mr. Cosby on the couch beside me, behind me, and my vagina was being penetrated quite forcefully, and I felt my breast being touched,” Ms. Constand said. “I was limp, and I could not fight him off.”

Cosby faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $25,000 on each count. He remains free on bail until sentencing. But he is unlikely to spend much time in jail.

O'Neill said that because of Cosby's age and his medical condition — his eyesight is poor — "I am not going to simply lock him up." Cosby has to surrender his passport and must remain in his nearby home, the judge said.

Mr. Steele, the district attorney, also worked to rebut the defense claims. He said that Mr. Cosby, a member of Temple University’s board of directors at the time and the university’s most famous alumnus, set his sights on Ms. Constand, an employee in the athletic department who considered him a mentor.

“This case is about trust,” Mr. Steele had told the jurors. “This case is about betrayal, and that betrayal leading to a sexual assault of a woman named Andrea Constand.”

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