Bill Cosby is free on $1 million bond until his sentencing. He has been ordered to surrender his passport
Octogenerian entertainment icon Bill Cosby, was convicted Thursday in his sex abuse trail against a 45-year-old woman in Pennsylvania.
It’s a victory not just for Andrea Constand, but for scores of other women accusing Bill Cosby of sexual misconduct stretching back decades.
Fourteen 14 hours into their deliberations the jury of five women and seven men found Cosby guilty on all counts of drugging and sexually assaulting the former Temple University staffer inside his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004.
The long-awaited verdict represents the first, criminal conviction for the disgraced comedian, amidst a flood of accusations from women different ages and walks of life of similar assaults against them.
Cosby, 80, will remain free on $1 million bond until his sentencing and was ordered to surrender his passport.
During closing arguments on April 9, Cosby’s defence attorney, Tom Mesereau, called his accuser Andrea Constand, a scheming liar motivated by money.
“You’re dealing with a pathological liar, members of the jury,” Tom Mesereau said. “You are.”
Seizing on the $3.38 million that Cosby ended up paying Constand to settle her 2005 civil lawsuit, Mesereau argued that Constand set a trap for the man she considered a “father figure and mentor”.
The defence attorney called the civil lawsuit settlement, the accuser’s “jackpot.”
Following Thursday’s verdict, District Attorney Kevin Steele called for Cosby’s bail to be revoked, suggesting Cosby was a flight risk because he has access to a private plane.
“He doesn’t have a plane, you a–hole,” Cosby fired back in open court.
Andrea Constand [photo], observers believe, won an important victory for the dozens of women who have accused comedian Bill Cosby of similar assaults, hamstrung by the statute of limitation
Cosby was first charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault in December 2015, just days before the 12-year statute of limitations on the crime ran out.
He quickly pleaded not guilty, claiming Constand was his willing sex partner.
Constand, 45, gave a much different account during emotional and sometimes grueling testimony spread over two trials almost a year apart.
The former head of women’s basketball operations at Temple said she considered Cosby a mentor and father figure the night he offered her three unidentified blue pills he referred to as “your friends.”
Constand said she thought the pills were herbal remedies for stress and was stunned and confused when they caused her words to slur and her vision to blur, she told the jury of five women and seven men in Norristown, Pa.
Cosby in a previous interview with police claimed he only gave Constand ‘broken pieces of Benadryl’ to help her relax before what he called a consensual romantic encounter.
A smiling Bill Cosby and his wife Camille arrive for the closing arguments on last week
Constand in her testimony, contradicted the comedian, recalling feeling powerless as Cosby groped her breasts, penetrated her with his fingers and masturbated himself with her hand.
“I wanted it to stop,” Constand testified two weeks ago. “I was weak. I was limp, and I could not fight him off.”
The charges against Cosby each carried a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Considering the comedian’s advanced age, his conviction could mean he’ll end up spending the rest of his life in jail.
At his first trial last June, a jury deadlocked after six days of marathon deliberations.
This time around, the sequestered jury reached its unanimous verdict after a 12-day trial that included new testimony from five additional accusers, including former supermodel Janice Dickinson.
Throughout the trial, Cosby’s lawyers argued Constand was a “con artist” who framed the “Cosby Show” star for money.
They fixated on the $3.38 million settlement she received to end her 2005 lawsuit and claimed she made a series of inconsistent statements.
In the end, the proof was in the pudding pop pitchman’s own words.
The jurors heard that Cosby himself told police in a 2005 interview that he gave Constand a medication without explaining what it was. They also heard that he admitted during a follow-up civil deposition that he obtained seven prescriptions for quaaludes in the 1970s so he could give the now-banned sedative to women he found sexually attractive.
Donna Barrett [left], and Dottye [right], with their attorney Gloria Allred [centre], are two of the dozens of women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault
Attorney Gloria Allred [centre], with two more Cosby sexual abuse accusers – actress Lili Bernard [left], and writer Sammie Mays [right]
Kacey [left], Lynn Neal [second left], and Linda Kirkpatrick [centre], seen with their attorney Gloria Allred [right], all shared similar tales of being drugged and sexually abused by comedian Bill Cosby
Authorities originally declined to charge Cosby in 2005, but Constand’s case got revived as more than 50 accusers stepped from the shadows starting in late 2014.
When prosecutors finally filed their criminal complaint, they said a major factor in their decision was Cosby’s own deposition admission that he stockpiled the quaaludes.
In his depositions, Cosby said he kept the powerful drugs on hand to offer them to women, “The same as a person would say, ‘Have a drink.'”
In closing arguments Tuesday, Montgomery County Deputy District Attorney Kristen Feden wrested back the “con artist” shaming that Cosby’s defense lawyer Tom Mesereau labeled Constand in his opening statement.
“Yes, you did hear about a con,” Feden said Tuesday as she pointed to Cosby in the courtroom gallery. “The perpetrator of that con is this man, sitting right here.”
Cosby did not testify in his own defense during either of his trials.