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Bill Cosby Convicted of Sexual Assault in Retrial

  • Bill Cosby reacts while being notified a verdict is in at the Montgomery County Courthouse in his sexual assault retrial, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 26, 2018.

    Bill Cosby reacts while being notified a verdict is in at the Montgomery County Courthouse in his sexual assault retrial, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 26, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 April 2018
Opinion

Lily Bernard, one of his many accusers, began sobbing while Constand sat in the court stone-faced.

Comedian Bill Cosby was convicted on all three counts of drugging and molesting a onetime friend in 2004 on Thursday in a decisive victory for prosecutors in one of the first celebrity sexual-assault trials of the #MeToo era.

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Cosby, 80, best known as the lovable father from the 1980s TV hit "The Cosby Show," faces up to 10 years in prison for each of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault of Andrea Constand, who is now 45.

Lily Bernard, one of his many accusers, began sobbing while Constand sat in the court stone-faced.

A former administrator for the women's basketball team at Temple University, Cosby's alma mater, Constand is one of about 50 women who have accused him of sexual assault. All of the other allegations are believed to be too old to be prosecuted. Cosby has said any sexual encounters were consensual.

The unanimous decision by the seven-man, five-woman jury came less than a year after a different jury deadlocked in his first trial on the same charges, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial. Prosecutors decided to retry him.

The first trial ended just before a flood of sexual assault and harassment accusations against rich and powerful men in media, entertainment and politics gave rise to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Those high-profile revelations have encouraged women in all walks of life to go public with personal stories of abuse, in some cases after years of silence.

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