Bill Cosby Found Guilty of Sexual Assault in Retrial

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Bill Cosby has been found guilty on all three counts in his sexual assault retrial, with the 80-year-old actor now facing up to 10 years in prison.

The three counts — penetration with lack of consent, penetration while unconscious and penetration after administering an intoxicant — are felonies, each punishable by up to 10 years in state prison, though the sentences could be served concurrently.

The Montgomery County district attorney, Kevin R. Steele, asked that Mr. Cosby’s $1 million bail be revoked, suggesting he had been convicted of a serious crime, owned a plane and could flee, prompting an angry outburst from Mr. Cosby, who shouted, “He doesn’t have a plane, you asshole.”

“Enough of that,” said Judge Steven T. O’Neill. He did not view Mr. Cosby as a flight risk, he said, adding that Mr. Cosby could be released on bail but authorities would continue to hold his passport and he would have to remain in his nearby home. He did not set a sentencing date.

The Bill Cosby case was the first celebrity sexual assault trial since the #MeToo movement began last fall, and as such, represented a test of how the cultural movement translates into a courtroom arena.
“What was revealed through this investigation was a man who had spent decades preying on women that he drugged and sexually assaulted, and a man who evaded this moment right here far too long,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele told reporters. “He used his celebrity, he used his wealth, he used his network of supporters to help him conceal his crimes.
The Cosby Show star has faced allegations of similar assaults from more than 60 women, five of whom testified at the trial. Cosby’s defense argued that the encounter with Constand was consensual, but the actor declined to take the witness stand and testify on his own behalf.

An earlier attempt to prosecute Cosby ended in a mistrial last June, after the jury failed to reach a verdict. At the time, the local district attorney’s office vowed to retry the case. Constand also sued Cosby in civil court in 2005, receiving an undisclosed cash settlement the following year.

A sentencing date has not been set, and an appeal is expected. Cosby has been set free on bail while he awaits sentencing. Each of the three counts carries a 10-year sentence, but the judge would likely allow Cosby to serve them concurrently, for a total of 10 years.

TheTega

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