Bill Cosby’s fall from iconic TV star became complete Thursday when a jury found him guilty of three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault.
Cosby, 80, was charged with violating Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Cosby had claimed the encounter was consensual.
Cosby’s lawyers called Constand a “con artist” who leveled false accusations against Cosby so she could sue him.
During closing arguments Tuesday, special prosecutor Kristen Gibbons Feden used that claim against Cosby, telling the jury, “She is not the con. He is.”
Last year, another jury deadlocked on the same charges against Cosby, resulting in a mistrial.
Breaking News: Bill Cosby has been found guilty of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, capping the downfall of one of the world’s best-known entertainers https://t.co/XFa21NKchW
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 26, 2018
Cosby could get up to 10 years in prison on each of the counts. He also faces a fine of up to $25,000 on each county. His attorneys said they plan on appealing the verdict.
More than 50 women have accused Cosby of similar assaults against them over the years. None of those accusations ever resulted in charges against Cosby, often because the statute of limitations to allege a crime had elapsed.
In this case, prosecutors were allowed to introduce testimony from five other women who told jurors they believed they had been drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby in separate incidents in the 1980s. In last year’s trial, only one other accuser was allowed to testify against Cosby.
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
The jury deliberated for two days before reaching its guilty verdict.
At one point, the jury asked to have testimony read back to them from the defense’s star witness, a former friend and colleague of Constant who said she talked of plans to frame “a high-profile person” in order to sue and make millions.
The jury also had testimony read back to them of a 2005 deposition by Cosby in which he admitted giving a woman drugs in order to have sex with her.
According to The New York Post, Cosby showed no emotion and looked down at the table in front of him as the verdicts were read — which prompted some of his victims in the gallery to burst into tears.
The Associated Press reported Cosby lashed out at a prosecutor in an “expletive-laden tirade” in the courtroom after his conviction.
Cosby still faces civil suits from several accusers, some who claim he defamed them by calling them liars who fabricated their allegations.
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