The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Cosby found guilty of sex at­tack on woman

United States: Star could be sen­tenced to 10 years per charge

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US co­me­dian Bill Cosby has been con­victed of drug­ging and sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a woman in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

A jury con­victed the Cosby Show star of three counts of ag­gra­vated in­de­cent as­sault.

The guilty ver­dict came less than a year af­ter an­other jury was dead­locked on the charges.

Cosby, 80, was charged with as­sault­ing Tem­ple Univer­sity em­ployee Andrea Con­stand at his sub­ur­ban Philadel­phia home in 2004.

Cosby could get up to 10 years in prison on each of the counts.

The co­me­dian stood up and re­acted an­grily af­ter ju­rors left the court­room. He used an ex­ple­tive to re­fer to Dis­trict At­tor­ney Kevin Steele, who was ar­gu­ing to re­voke Cosby’s bail. Cosby shouted: “I’m sick of him.”

The judge ruled that Cosby will re­main free pend­ing sen­tenc­ing.

Judge Steven O’Neill told the panel of seven men and five women that it was “an ex­traor­di­nar­ily dif­fi­cult case” and said the ju­rors “sac­ri­ficed in the ser­vice of jus­tice”.

Dozens of women have come for­ward in re­cent years to say he drugged and as­saulted them. Five of the other ac­cusers tes­ti­fied against him at the re­trial.

The panel of seven men and five women reached a ver­dict af­ter de­lib­er­at­ing for 14 hours over two days, vin­di­cat­ing pros­e­cu­tors’ de­ci­sion to retry the 80-year-old af­ter his first trial ended with a hung jury less than a year ago.

Ms Con­stand, 45, a for­mer Tem­ple women’s bas­ket­ball ad­min­is­tra­tor, told ju­rors that Cosby knocked her out with three blue pills he called “your friends” be­fore at­tack­ing her.

It was the only crim­i­nal case to arise from a bar­rage of al­le­ga­tions from more than 60 women who said the for­mer TV star drugged and mo­lested them over a span of five decades.

“The time for the de­fen­dant to es­cape jus­tice is over,” pros­e­cu­tor Ste­wart

“Dine on the ban­quet of his own con­se­quences”

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.

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 Se­na­tor Al Franken.

 ??  ?? GUILTY: Bill Cosby re­acted an­grily af­ter ju­rors left the court­room yes­ter­day
GUILTY: Bill Cosby re­acted an­grily af­ter ju­rors left the court­room yes­ter­day

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