news 3 weeks ago

Bill Cosby Guilty on All Counts; He Yells at Prosecutor

Newser — John Johnson

He got a mistrial the first time around, but now Bill Cosby is guilty and facing the possibility of prison time. A jury in Pennsylvania on Thursday convicted the 80-year-old comedian on all three counts of sexually assaulting a woman in his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004, reports the AP.

Cosby, accused of drugging and violating Andrea Constand, had been charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, with each one carrying the potential of 10 years in prison.

After the verdict, he lashed out at the prosecutor. Details:

  • Cosby's anger: As Montgomery District Attorney Kevin Steele argued that Cosby should be jailed until sentencing, Cosby erupted in anger.

“He doesn’t have a plane, you a--hole," he said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer, referring to Steele's assertion that he could flee on a private jet. "I'm sick of him!" The judge allowed Cosby to remain free until his sentencing hearing, the date of which hasn't been announced. The outburst put the "real Bill Cosby on display," Steele said later.

  • Now what? Cosby must undergo an assessment to determine whether he must register as a violent sexual predator. Meanwhile attorney Tom Mesereau promised to appeal. It's not clear whether Cosby will go directly to prison once he is sentenced or be allowed to remain free while his appeal winds through the courts, per the Inquirer.
  • The scene: As the verdict was read, Cosby stared straight ahead and Constand was stoic, in the words of the AP. But two female Cosby accusers who did not testify burst into sobs and were escorted from the courtroom. "Their tears—tears of joy, sadness and exhaustion after a frustrating years-long struggle—still filtered into the courtroom through the heavy closed wooden doors," recounts the Washington Post.
  • The damning clip: Cosby's downfall began when this clip by standup comic Hannibal Buress went viral in 2014, notes Business Insider.
  • Allred: High-profile attorney Gloria Allred, who represents three of the five women who testified at this trial, declared "justice has been done," reports CBS Philly. "We are so happy that finally we can say women are believed."
  • #MeToo: An analysis by Anna North at Vox sees the case as a big validation of the #MeToo movement. The conviction "suggests that #MeToo could have already started to change how people think about sexual violence."
  • Show pulled: Bounce TV has pulled reruns of The Cosby Show from its lineup in the wake of the guilty verdict, notes the Wrap.

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