Bill Cosby Found Guilty of Sexual Assault After Years of Accusations


Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele requested that Mr. Cosby’s $1 million bail be revoked, suggesting he had been convicted of a severe crime, owned a airplane and will flee, prompting an indignant outburst from Mr. Cosby, who shouted, “He doesn’t have a plane, you asshole.”

“Enough of that,” mentioned Judge O’Neill who mentioned he didn’t view Mr. Cosby as a flight danger and mentioned he may very well be launched on bail, however must give up his passport and stay in his close by house.

In current years, Mr. Cosby, 80, had admitted to a long time of philandering, and to giving quaaludes to ladies as half of an effort to have intercourse, smashing the picture he had constructed as a moralizing public determine and the upstanding paterfamilias within the wildly widespread 1980s and ’90s sitcom “The Cosby Show.” He didn’t testify in his personal protection, avoiding a grilling about these admissions, however he and his attorneys have insisted that his encounter with Ms. Constand was half of a consensual affair, not an assault.

[Andrea Constand was the “linchpin” of the Bill Cosby case.]

The verdict now marks the underside of a fall as precipitous as any in present enterprise historical past and leaves in limbo a big slice of American widespread tradition from Mr. Cosby’s six-decade profession as a comic and actor. For the previous couple of years, his TV exhibits, movies, and recorded stand-up performances, one-time broadcast staples, have largely been shunned and with the conviction, they’re more likely to stay so.

At his retrial in the identical courthouse and earlier than the identical decide as final summer time, a brand new protection group argued unsuccessfully that Ms. Constand, now 45, was a determined “con artist” with monetary issues who steadily labored her well-known however lonely mark for a profitable payday.

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Andrea Constand exiting the courtroom throughout a break within the trial. She is the one lady whose grievance of sexual assault in opposition to Mr. Cosby resulted in a felony trial.

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Pool photograph by Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The prosecution countered that it was Mr. Cosby who had been a deceiver, hiding behind his amiable picture as America’s Dad to prey on ladies that he first incapacitated with intoxicants. During closing arguments Tuesday, a particular prosecutor, Kristen Gibbons Feden, had advised the jury: “She is not the con. He is.”

The protection’s star witness was a veteran tutorial adviser at Temple, Mr. Cosby’s alma mater, who mentioned Ms. Constand had confided in her in 2004 that she may make cash by falsely claiming that she had been molested by a distinguished individual. Mr. Cosby paid Ms. Constand $three.38 million in 2006 as half of the confidential monetary settlement of a lawsuit she had introduced in opposition to him after prosecutors had initially declined to convey expenses.

But Ms. Constand mentioned she had by no means spoken with the adviser and prosecutors rebutted the characterization of Ms. Constand as a schemer. Perhaps most damaging to Mr. Cosby, they have been capable of introduce testimony from 5 different ladies who advised jurors they believed they too had been drugged and sexually assaulted by Mr. Cosby in separate incidents within the 1980s. The highly effective drumbeat of accounts allowed prosecutors to argue that Ms. Constand’s assault was half of a signature sample of predatory habits.

The case was the primary high-profile trial of the #MeToo period. Candidates have been required throughout jury choice to offer assurances that the accusations in opposition to scores of different well-known males wouldn’t have an effect on their judgment of Mr. Cosby. Mr. Cosby’s attorneys referred to the modified environment in American society, warning it and the introduction of accounts from a number of different accusers risked denying Mr. Cosby a good trial by distracting jurors’ consideration. “Mob rule is not due process,” Kathleen Bliss, one of Mr. Cosby’s attorneys advised the jury.

Then she spent a lot of her closing argument urging the jury to low cost the accounts of the 5 supporting witnesses. One was a failed starlet who slept round, she instructed, one other a publicity seeker. “Questioning an accuser is not shaming a victim,” she advised the jury.

The remarks infected Ms. Feden, the prosecutor, who referred to as the assaults on the ladies the identical kind of filthy and shameful criticism that stored some victims of sexual assault from ever coming ahead.

When Ms. Constand got here ahead to testify, she took the stand as one thing of a proxy for the opposite ladies, greater than 50, who’ve accused Mr. Cosby of abuses, usually with particulars remarkably much like Ms. Constand’s account. Just a few of these ladies attended the trial.

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Kathleen Bliss, left, and Thomas A. Mesereau, two attorneys for Mr. Cosby, on the courthouse on Wednesday.

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Tracie Van Auken/EPA, through Shutterstock

None of the opposite accusations had resulted in prosecution. In many of the circumstances, an excessive amount of time had handed for felony expenses to be thought of, so Ms. Constand’s case emerged as the one felony take a look at of Mr. Cosby’s guilt.

But Mr. Cosby is going through civil actions from a number of accusers, many of whom are suing him for defamation as a result of, they are saying, he or his workers branded them as liars by dismissing their allegations as fabrications.

The fits have principally been delayed, pending the end result of the felony trial and are probably to attract momentum from the responsible verdict.

The case largely turned on the credibility of Ms. Constand, who testified that in a go to in early 2004 to Mr. Cosby’s house close to Philadelphia, when she was 30 and he was 66, Mr. Cosby gave her capsules that left her motionless and drifting out and in of consciousness. He mentioned he had solely given her Benadryl.

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Mr. Cosby and his spouse, Camille, arriving Tuesday on the courthouse for closing arguments. It was the one day Mrs. Cosby appeared on the trial.

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Tracie Van Auken/EPA, through Shutterstock

“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,” Ms. Constand mentioned. “I was limp, and I could not fight him off.”

Adding weight to her accusations was the revelation decade earlier, in a deposition in Ms. Constand’s lawsuit in opposition to him, Mr. Cosby had admitted to having given ladies quaaludes in an effort to have intercourse with them.

But maybe most damaging was the testimony by the 5 extra accusers, which took up a number of days of testimony. In Mr. Cosby’s first trial, final summer time, just one different accuser had been allowed so as to add her voice to that of Ms. Constand. At the retrial, the accusers included the previous mannequin Janice Dickinson, who advised jurors Mr. Cosby assaulted her in a Lake Tahoe resort room in 1982, after giving her a tablet to assist with menstrual cramps. “Here was America’s Dad on top of me,” she advised the courtroom, “a happily married man with five children, on top of me.”

The protection instructed in its cross-examination that Ms. Dickinson had made up the account and pointed to the truth that in her memoir she had recounted the assembly with out making any point out of an assault. But Ms. Dickinson’s writer testified that she had advised her the rape account and it was solely stored out of the guide for authorized causes.

Another accuser, Chelan Lasha, advised how Mr. Cosby invited her to his suite on the Las Vegas Hilton in 1986 when she was 17 to provide her assist along with her modeling profession. Mr. Cosby, she mentioned, gave her a tablet and liquor, after which assaulted her.

In courtroom, Ms. Lasha, who was usually in tears, referred to as throughout the courtroom to the entertainer, who was sitting on the protection desk.

“You remember,” she requested, “don’t you, Mr. Cosby?”

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The jury deliberating the Cosby case contained in the Montgomery County Courthouse was requested to determine on three counts of sexual assault.

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Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters

As within the first trial, Mr. Cosby’s authorized group insisted Ms. Constand was mendacity a few consensual, sexual relationship. But whereas his attorneys final summer time had depicted Mr. Cosby as a flawed man, an untrue husband who shattered his followers’ illusions, however dedicated no crime, his attorneys this time centered on the monetary struggles they mentioned Ms. Constand was experiencing that led her to extort cash from a person who had been attempting to assist her with a profession in broadcasting.

“You are going to be asking yourself during this trial, ‘What does she want from Bill Cosby?’ And you already know the answer: ‘Money, money and lots more money,’” his lead lawyer, Thomas A. Mesereau Jr., advised the jurors as he opened his protection of Mr. Cosby. “She has a history of financial problems until she hits the jackpot with Bill Cosby.”

The protection emphasised inconsistencies within the model of occasions Ms. Constand had given the police, saying, for instance, at one level that the assault had taken place in March, 2004, then later altering that January 2004.

Mr. Cosby’s attorneys cited her telephone data to indicate she had stayed in contact with him after the encounter they usually produced detailed journey itineraries and flight schedules in an effort to indicate that Mr. Cosby didn’t keep at his Philadelphia house throughout the interval she mentioned the assault occurred.

“He was lonely and troubled and he made a terrible mistake confiding in her what was going on in his life,” Mr. Mesereau mentioned.

Under cross-examination, Ms. Constand defined the lapses in her accounts as harmless errors, and mentioned her contacts with Mr. Cosby after the incident have been principally cursory, the unavoidable outcome of her job duties.

Mr. Steele advised the jury that with the capsules he gave her, Mr. Cosby took away Ms. Constand’s potential to consent, and that their later contacts have been irrelevant.

When Ms. Constand’s mom referred to as to confront Mr. Cosby a few yr after the incident, the prosecution argued, the defendant’s apology, and his provide to pay for her education, remedy and a visit to Florida, have been proof he knew he had carried out one thing incorrect.

Mr. Steels, the district lawyer, additionally labored to rebut the protection claims. He mentioned that Mr. Cosby, a member of Temple University’s board of administrators and the college’s most well-known alumnus, set his sights on Ms. Constand, an worker within the college’s athletic division who thought of Mr. Cosby a mentor.

“This case is about trust,” Mr. Steele had advised the jurors. “This case is about betrayal, and that betrayal leading to a sexual assault of a woman named Andrea Constand.”

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