Bill Cosby Found Guilty on Three Counts of Felony Sexual Assault
After years of allegations from dozens of women, comedian and television icon Bill Cosby has finally been found guilty of sexual assault. A Pennsylvania jury found Cosby, now 80 years of age, guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand 14 years ago in his own home. Constand is the only victim whose allegations have made it to trial. To date, over 50 women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, with some allegations dating as far back as five decades.
The New York Times reports that Cosby was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault: penetration with lack of consent, penetration while unconscious, and penetration after administering an intoxicant. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. It took two days for the jury to return a guilty verdict in the trial, which took place just outside of Philadelphia in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Cosby evaded prosecution last year when his previous trial resulted in a deadlocked jury after six days of deliberations. Constand was the only victim whose case resulted in a trial, though several of Cosby’s alleged victims were also present during the proceedings. Five of his accusers testified on behalf of the prosecution.
The comedian and star of The Cosby Show did not take the stand to testify in his defense. Instead, his team perpetuated the argument that Cosby has, by his own admission, been unfaithful to his wife on numerous occasions and has supplied quaaludes to some of those women. The defense argued that these affairs were consensual, including the one with Ms. Constand, whom they depicted as a “con-artist” and “schemer.”
While the statute of limitations for felony prosecution has run out for many of Cosby’s alleged victims, some are pursuing civil litigation and suing the comedian for defamation of character. Those suits will likely move forward now that the criminal trial has come to an end.
Following his conviction, according to the Associated Press, Cosby lashed out at the prosecutor in an “expletive-laden tirade.” A request to have Cosby reprimanded into custody immediately was denied, followed by another outburst: