Bill Cosby Found Guilty in Sexual Assault Retrial

Bill Cosby arrives during jury deliberations in his sexual assault retrial, Thursday, April 26, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(CN) — Bill Cosby was convicted Thursday of drugging and molesting a woman in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. The spectacular downfall of the once-beloved comedian came after just one-and-a-half days of jury deliberations.

Moments after the jury left the courtroom, Cosby stood up and shouted at the prosecution, pointing at District Attorney Kevin Steele, who was arguing to revoke Cosby’s bail, yelling, “I’m sick of him!”

Cosby’s tirade continued as Steele tried to convince Judge Steve O’Neil that the comedian could get on a private plane and “fly anywhere.”

“He doesn’t have a private plane,” Cosby yelled, calling the prosecutor an “A–hole.”

O’Neil ultimately decided against ordering that Cosby be taken into custody, instead telling the 80-year-old that he must remain in Pennsylvania pending sentencing.

Cosby could end up spending his final years in prison after a jury concluded he sexually violated Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his Cheltenham, Pennsylvania home in 2004.

The comedian was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Each count carries a maximum of 10 years in prison. He’ll be sentenced in 60 to 90 days.

Outside the suburban Philadelphia courthouse, Cosby’s attorney, Tom Mesereau, said the “fight is not over” and vowed to appeal his client’s conviction.

But prosecutor Stewart Ryan was unmoved. “The time for the defendant to escape justice is over,” he said.

Cosby has always maintained that his encounter with Constand was consensual.

The verdict from a jury consisting of seven men and five women, all from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, came after a two-week retrial in which prosecutors put five other women on the stand who testified that Cosby, drugged and violated them, too.

Constand, 45, a former director of women’s basketball at Temple University, was awarded a civil settlement of $3.4 million dollars over a decade ago.

She told jurors that Cosby knocked her out with three blue pills he called “your friends” and then penetrated her with his fingers as she lay immobilized, unable to resist or say no.

The other accusers’ testimony helped move the case beyond a he-said, she-said, allowing prosecutors to argue that Cosby was a menace to women long before he met Constand. Only one other accuser was permitted to testify at Cosby’s first trial.

Cosby’s new defense team, led by Tom Mesereau, who once defended Michael Jackson, launched a highly aggressive attack on Constand and the other women.

“You’re dealing with a pathological liar,” Mesereau told the jury.

His colleague on the defense team, Katheen Bliss, derided the other accusers as home-wreckers and suggested they made up their stories in a bid for money and fame.

On Wednesday Constand watched as the jury returned to court six times asking the judge for clarification about questions.

They concluded their first day of deliberations at about 7:45 p.m. Wednesday night, and returned to the courthouse at 9 a.m. Thursday morning. They delivered their verdict shortly after noon.

The jurors at Cosby’s first trial, held in June 2017, deliberated over six days and for more than 52 hours, without reaching a verdict. Thursday’s verdict vindicated prosecutors’ decision to retry Cosby after his first trial ended with a hung jury.

“The time for the defendant to escape justice is over,” prosecutor Stewart Ryan said in his closing argument. “It’s finally time for the defendant to dine on the banquet of his own consequences.”

Another prosecutor, Kristen Feden, said Cosby was “nothing like the image that he played on TV” as sweater-wearing, wisdom-dispensing father of five Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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