Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA: Famed comedian and TV star, Bill Cosby, was found guilty on all three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault, in his retrial, Thursday, after just 14 hours of juror deliberation. The convictions could bring a combined prison sentence of 30 years and $75,000 in penalties.
Cosby’s new legal team, which was headed by famed Michael Jackson attorney Tom Mesereau, failed to prove Constand was ‘greedy’ and wanted to extort money out of Cosby.
Cosby’s chief accuser, 45-year old Andrea Constand, a former director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University, where Cosby was a trustee and major financial donor, explained in court that she was simply at the trial ‘for justice’.
Andrea Constand, told the court that Cosby gave her three blue pills he referred to as “your friends” while the two were in private at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.
She believed the pills to be “herbal supplements” to help relieve aches and pains, but says she woke up hours later with the iconic comedian “violating her.”
Cosby, 80, maintained he gave Constand the cold medicine Benadryl and that she consented to a s***al encounter. In closing argument, Cosby’s lawyers, Mesereau and Kathleen Bliss, painted Constand as a “pathological liar” scheming for a big payday.
Judge Steven O’Neill denied prosecutor’s request to revoke Cosby Bail but ruled that Cosby should not leave his Pennsylvania home, and that he would need to be fitted with a GPS tracking device.
Cosby’s lawyer, Tom Mesereau, told reporters outside the courthouse: “We don’t think Mr. Cosby is guilty of anything and the fight is not over.”
The verdict came after a two-week retrial in which prosecutors put five other women on the stand who testified that Cosby, married for 54 years, drugged and violated them, too. One of those women asked him through her tears, “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?”
But Cosby himself had long ago confirmed sordid revelations about drugs and extramarital sex.
In a deposition he gave over a decade ago as part of Constand’s lawsuit, Cosby acknowledged he had obtained quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with, “the same as a person would say, ‘Have a drink.’” The sedative was a popular party drug before the U.S. banned it more than 30 years ago.
Bill Cosby, who starred as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” from 1984 to 1992, earned a reputation as “America’s Dad.” He won five Grammy Awards after breaking into the stand-up scene in the ‘60s. He then paralleled that success on TV, winning three consecutive Emmy Awards from 1966 to 1968 for his role on “I Spy.” The show elevated him to a new level of stardom and led to the eventual creation of his titular sitcom, “The Cosby Show.” In 1998, he became known to a new generation as the host of “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”
He was also once lauded as a philanthropist, and received more than 50 honorary degrees from universities across the country. Cosby’s legacy of giving was topped by a $20 million gift to Spelman College in 1988 and including, among many other donations, $3 million to the Morehouse School of Medicine and $1 million in 2004 to the U.S. National Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
But most of Cosby’s honorary degrees were revoked one-by-one as more and more women came forward to allege he had assaulted them.
In the end, it was one woman – Constand – that had the information and the statute of limitations on her side to force Cosby to trial.