Bill Cosby is convicted of all counts in sexual assault case

Alfred Osborne
April 26, 2018

Last June, another jury at Cosby's first trial deadlocked on that question after days of deliberations, forcing Judge Steven O'Neill to declare a mistrial.

Spokesperson Andrew Wyatt, actor and comedian Bill Cosby and publicist Ebonee Benson after a day of jury deliberations in the retrial of his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on April 25, 2018. For several weeks the trial was a media spectacle, but after spending more than 50 hours reviewing testimony, the sequestered jury of five women and seven men failed to reach a unanimous decision and the judge declared a mistrial.

It was not the outcome Cosby or his high-powered defense team wanted but it was an answer to the question that has haunted America since October 2014: Is "America's Dad" really a serial sexual predator who drugged and molested Andrea Constand at his nearby home in January 2004? If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison for each of the three counts, although sentencing guidelines call for the terms to be served concurrently. Among the accusers was model and reality TV star Janice Dickinson, who testified that Cosby drugged and assaulted her in 1982. His lawyer called Constand a "con artist" who leveled false accusations against Cosby so she could sue him. Camille Cosby, 74, had stayed away as the prosecution built its case that her husband maintained a sordid double life, plying women with drugs and preying on them sexually. They called to the stand a woman who said Constand spoke of framing a prominent person - testimony that was blocked at last year's trial. Constand has done so.

Cosby has claimed he gave Constand 1.5 tablets of Benadryl to help her relax.

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby could spend the rest of his life behind bars if convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand in 2004

In her own closing argument, Cosby prosecutor Kristen Feden rebuked Bliss for engaging in "utterly shameful" and "filthy" character assassination of Constand and the others. Constand sued Cosby after prosecutors initially declined to file charges, settling with him for almost $3.4 million over a decade ago.

Cosby's retrial took place against the backdrop of #MeToo, the movement against sexual misconduct that has taken down powerful men in rapid succession, among them Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey and Sen. The defense team continued its line of attack on Cosby's accusers, saying they fabricated their stories for money and fame. Cosby has said any sexual encounters were consensual.

Gloria Allred, the lawyer for three of the women who testified, blasted the defense closing as "victim-shaming and victim-blaming" and said Cosby's lawyers had smeared her clients in a win-at-all-costs effort at an acquittal.

The defense highlighted more than a dozen inconsistencies in what Constand has said over the years. In it, he admitted to giving women quaaludes, a power sedative, as a prelude to sex. Constand has done so.

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