Bill Cosby has been found guilty of sexual assault by jury. The Pennsylvania jury overseeing his case ultimately returned a verdict for the aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand.
Actor and comedian Cosby was accused of aggravated indecent assault against Constand in 2004. After 14 hours of deliberation, the jury determined that Cosby was guilty for rape on all three counts against Constand, who Cosby had met through a mutual friend in 2002. Constand accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her in his Elkins Park, PA mansion two years after they had met, despite the fact that Cosby insisted that their time together was purely consensual.
According to THR, the case was previously ruled a mistrial last summer, prompting the court to reassess the evidence at a later date. Upon further deliberation, the second jury ultimately found Cosby guilty of sexually assaulting Constand. Five other woman stood trial to accuse Cosby of "prior bad acts," compared to last summer, when only a single witness was allowed to testify. During the proceedings, over two dozen witnesses were present, along with the members of the jury. And though Cosby never took the stand, he still attempted to defend himself to the jury, insisting that he was not even in the area in which the assault took place at the time of the incident. However, his claims were ultimately ignored.
Aside from all the damning evidence against Cosby, testimony from one of Constand's former Temple University colleagues, Marguerite Jackson, may well have unhinged the final verdict. Jackson claimed that Constand had privately admitted to her that she had not been attacked by Cosby, but was planning to frame him for monetary gain. She even added that Cosby had initially agreed to Constand's terms, paying her up to $3.4 million back in 2006 in order to settle out of court. These claims ultimately did not hold up in court.
Given his conviction, Cosby may face up to 10 years in prison per each count of which he was found guilty (which would be up to 30 years). That said, there is some red tape surrounding his ultimate sentencing, given the fact that Cosby has repeatedly raised concerns throughout the trial that his due process rights were being violated, which in turn will likely lead to his lawyers appealing the conviction. Following the conviction, Cosby lashed out against District Attorney Kevin Steele, according to Time, calling him an "a**hole" after Steele requested that Cosby be detained and denied bail, but the judge ultimately granted Cosby bail.