Cosby with his spokesman, Andrew Wyatt
Photo: Getty Images

After deliberating for 14 hours, a Pennsylvania jury has found Bill Cosby guilty on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault in the case of Andrea Constand, a former employee of Temple University who charged Cosby with drugging and sexually molesting her in 2004. He faces a likely maximum of 10 years in prison.

The jury began its deliberation on Wednesday, March 25, after testimony from five of the more than 50 women who have reported Cosby sexually assaulted them, including model and reality TV star Janice Dickinson. In closing arguments, Cosby’s defense attorneys attacked the character of Cosby’s accusers, accusing them of being obsessed with fame and money and lying for attention. Their harshest insults were reserved for Constand, who they called a “con artist” and “not a good girl.” In response, the prosecution posited Cosby as the real con artist; as prosecutor Kristen Feden told the jury, “He is nothing like the image that he plays on TV. In fact, he utilized that image and cloaked himself so that he was able to gain the trust, gain the confidence of these young women so he could strip them of their ability to say no, administering an intoxicant the same way he administered an intoxicant to Andrea Constand.”

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This was Cosby’s second trial on sexual assault charges; the first one ended with a hung jury in June 2017. Cosby is the first major celebrity to face a criminal trial on sexual assault charges in the wake of the #MeToo movement, although the charges against him pre-date that particular wave by several years. Several civil suits against him are still pending.

UPDATE, 1:20 p.m.: The Associated Press reports that Cosby launched into an “expletive-laden tirade” shortly after the verdict was read, with CBS News’ Matt Pieper adding that Cosby yelled, “Doesn’t matter that I have a plane, you asshole!” after a prosecutor petitioned the judge to revoke Cosby’s bail by arguing that Cosby is a flight risk because he owns a private plane, and thus could leave the state at any time. Fox News also aired footage of accusers rushing from the courtroom in tears after the verdict was read.

Cosby was allowed to leave the courthouse, but has been ordered to remain in the state. A sentencing date has yet to be set. Standing with accusers outside the courthouse, attorney Gloria Allred told reporters, “I’m the happiest I have been about any court decision in 42 years.”

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