Bill Cosby Found Guilty In Sexual Assault Of Andrea Constand In Retrial
Cosby was found guilty in all three counts brought against him.
What you need to know
- A jury returned guilty verdicts on Thursday on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Bill Cosby.
- The 80-year-old could face up to 30 years in prison.
- Cosby called the District Attorney an asshole in an outburst after the verdict.
A jury returned guilty verdicts on Thursday on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Bill Cosby.
The 80-year-old comic reportedly showed very little reaction to the verdict however when the District Attorney Kevin Steele challenged Judge Steven O'Neill allowing Cosby to remain free on bail until sentencing. Steele called Cosby a "flight risk" who owned his own plane, which the comedian responded to with a burst of emotion.
"He doesn't have a plane, you asshole" Cosby -- referring to himself in the third person -- is reported to have shouted back at Steele before adding, "He doesn't know".
A date has not yet been set for sentencing but DC law requires it to occur within 100 days of conviction. Each count poses a maximum of 10 years, so Cosby could be facing a max of 30 years in prison.
Despite more than 50 women coming forward and accusing Cosby of sexual misconduct and assault, the three charges were brought by Andrea Constand, the only woman whose claims were contested. The statute of limitations had expired on the others.
When the assistant district attorney asked Constand why she was in the courtroom she simply replied, "For justice".
Many of Cosby's accusers attending the three week trial, unable to contain their emotions when the verdict was handed down. Under a great deal of public scrutiny, the long-running case was bolstered by the #MeToo movement.
#MeToo began back in 2006 where activist and sexual assault survivor Tarana Burke coined the phrase to help women, especially women of colour, who had also been through similar trauma.
In October 2017 the hashtag gained huge momentum with the groundbreaking stories in the New York Times and New Yorker regarding disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein was accused of sexual assault, leading to an avalanche of accusers coming forward with their own experiences of Weinstein's misconduct.
In July New York magazine released a cover featuring 35 of Cosby's accusers, with features on each of their experiences with the comedian.
There were incredible scenes as Cosby's accusers spanning decades wept and embraced upon hearing he had been found guilty.
Lili Bernard, who alleged Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in the early '90s told BuzzFeed News the trial marked an important milestone for attitudes towards the #MeToo movement.
Fight not over for Cosby
Meanwhile Janice Baker-Kinney, who released a statement via social media, thanking the jury for their ability to "really hear our true pain" .
"May this verdict open the floodgates to those who have been hiding their shame for far too long," Baker Kinney wrote, "and give them the courage to come forward. You are NOT alone. We hear you and we believe you".
As Cosby awaits sentencing his lead defence attorney Tom Mesereau spoke outside the courtroom confirming plans to appeal the decision.
"We don't think Mr Cosby is guilty of anything, and the fight is not over," Mesereau said.
Featured image: Getty images.