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Bill Cosby convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman

The entertainer Bill Cosby has been found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault in a Pennsylvania retrial.

by Christianna Silva and Alexa Liautaud
Apr 26 2018, 5:51pm

The man once known as “America’s dad” is now a convicted felon.

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby was found guilty Thursday on three counts of aggravated indecent assault in a retrial of a Pennsylvania sexual assault case.

The jury, made up of seven men and five women, took about 14 hours to deliberate, during which time they sent a note to the judge asking for the definition of the word "consent."

The 80-year-old Cosby is facing up to 30 years in prison and $75,000 in fines.

Some of Cosby’s accusers began crying after the verdict was announced, and several had to be removed from the courtroom, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Video showed the women crying and hugging each other as they walked out of the courthouse, in Montgomery County.

According to the AP, Cosby lashed out at prosecutors after they urged the judge to take Cosby into custody immediately after the verdict, arguing he was a flight risk and had a private plane. Cosby reportedly yelled at the court, “He doesn’t have a private plane, you asshole!”

Cosby will remain out on bail until sentencing, but he has been ordered to remain in the state.

The retrial began two weeks ago after the first trial ended in a deadlocked jury last year. The 80-year-old entertainer, best known as the father in “The Cosby Show,” faced the same charges he did during the first trial: drugging and assaulting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home over a decade ago. Cosby uniformly pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The retrial featured many of the same aspects as the first case — with a few key differences. To start, the judge allowed more witnesses to testify than in the first trial. Jurors heard from six women — who, all but Constand, were blocked from speaking at the last trial. They all said Cosby had drugged them before sexually assaulting them.

Cosby even admitted during the trial that he used quaaludes before sex decades ago, although two drug experts offered conflicting opinions of Constand’s account of the evening.

The jury also heard from another witness and former Temple University employee Marguerite Jackson, who said Constand lied about the assault just for the money and fame. Prosecutors painted Jackson as a friend of Constand, but she was barred from testifying at Cosby’s first trial because Constand said she didn’t know her.

In another major deviation from the last trial, the judge ruled that attorneys on both sides could discuss the $3.4 million settlement Cosby paid Constand back in 2006 as part of a civil lawsuit. The settlement has been public information since at least 2016, when Cosby sued Constand and demanded that she pay him back for violating their confidentiality agreement when she cooperated with police, but the amount of the settlement wasn't revealed in his first trial. The actor, however, lifted his objections, which allowed the full value as evidence during his second trial.

Cover image: NORRISTOWN, PA - APRIL 26: Bill Cosby walks through the Montgomery County Courthouse for day fourteen of his sexual assault retrial, as the jury deliberates for the second day, on April 26, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. More than 40 women have accused the 80 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)