Bill Cosby guilty on all charges

Bill Cosby and his victim, Andrea Constand

Bill Cosby has been found guilty on all charges after drugging and molesting ex-basketball player Andrea Constand inside his Cheltenham home in 2004.

A jury in Montgomery County has found Cosby, 80, guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

The actor, the first major black primetime TV star, will remain out of jail until he is sentenced, the judge ruled. Cosby is best known for starring in the 1980s TV series The Cosby Show.

The disgraced comedian could now face decades in prison when he is sentenced later this year. He faces up to 10 years in prison for each count for the conviction.

Cosby did not have an audible reaction to the verdict, but erupted shortly after, when bail was discussed.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele argued that Cosby was a flight risk because he has a plane. That’s when Cosby stood up and began yelling.

Cosby, who did not testify in the trial and has sat quietly throughout the proceedings, then stood up, screaming and cursing, “He doesn’t have a plane, you asshole.”

He has been free on $1 million bail since his arrest. He will remain on bail pending sentencing, but Judge Steven O’Neill ruled that he would need to remain in Pennsylvania and be fitted with a GPS tracking device pending sentencing.  

The verdict brings to a close decades of speculation amid accusations from dozens of women in a case that has toppled a man who once defined fatherhood.

The case was the first celebrity sexual assault trial since the #MeToo movement began last fall, a cultural movement that brought reckoning to many powerful men accused of sexual assault in politics, media, and entertainment.

“I feel like my faith in humanity is restored,” Cosby accuser Lili Bernard said outside the courthouse.

“We are so happy that finally we can say, women are believed, and not only on #MeToo, but in a court of law,” lawyer Gloria Allred said.

It was the second time the actor had stood trial for the allegations, after an earlier jury failed to reach a verdict in June 2017.

At the start of the retrial in Pennsylvania it was revealed that Cosby had paid Constand almost $3.4 million in a civil settlement in 2006.

Around 60 women over five decades have publicly accused the Emmy award-winning actor of being a sexual predator. But statute of limitation laws mean that only one charge has been brought to trial.

Some of his accusers were present in court, and cried as the guilty verdict was returned.

Cosby’s lawyer Tom Mesereau insisted “the fight is not over”, adding that he believes Cosby is innocent and that he plans to file an appeal.

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