A Pennsylvania jury has found Bill Cosby guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in his home 14 years ago in its second day of deliberations.
The jury returned a guilty verdict on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. The specific charges were penetration with lack of consent, penetration while unconscious and penetration after administering an intoxicant. They each carry a maximum of 10 years in prison, though its entirely possible they could be served concurrently.
Judge Steven T. O’Neill praised the jury, calling it “an extraordinarily difficult case” and adding that they had “sacrificed much” in the pursuit of justice.
Incredible scenes as women run weeping from the courtroom immediately after Cosby is found GUITLY, and tearfully embrace one another. pic.twitter.com/5GWThXycx9
— David Mack (@davidmackau) April 26, 2018
This was not the first trial for Cosby. His first trial ended last year with a deadlocked jury after six days of deliberation – this is a retrial.
Cosby’s accuser, Andrea Constand, is by no means the first person to allege sexual impropriety by the one time television star. Many women have come forward over the years to accuse Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them, but in many cases too much time had passed for him to face criminal prosecution. For many of these women, Constandt’s relatively recent allegation was their only chance at seeing Cosby face justice.
Constand alleged that Cosby invited her to his home in 2004, where he gave her pills which led her to drift in and out of consciousness.
“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,” Constand said in her testimony. “I was limp, and I could not fight him off.”
A total of five additional accusers took the stand to provide evidence for the prosecution, including former model Janice Dickinson, who alleges that Cosby sexually assaulted her in a hotel room in 1982. Each accuser’s story was quite similar: they all claim Cosby invited them back to his home or a hotel room, then drugging and attacking them.
Cosby is facing a number of civil suits from women who allege he sexually assaulted them. They are largely defamation cases which target the fact he or his staff called many of them liars in the press leading up the trial.