A Pennsylvania jury took just 15 hours over two days to find comedy legend Bill Cosby guilty on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault against former Temple University employee Andrea Costrand. Cosby showed little emotion, only looking down when the verdict was read. Judge Steven O'Neil said Cosby could remain free on bail until sentencing, although District Attorney Kevin Steele asked Judge Steven O'Neil to revoke bail, stating Cosby was a flight risk since he owned a plane. While Cosby had been silent throughout the whole trial, Steele's statement prompted Cosby to shout a loud response in court. Here's what Cosby had to say, referring to himself in the third person as his voice began to shake.
"He doesn't own a plane, you a--hole. He doesn't know."
A date hasn't been set for sentencing yet, but Pennsylvania law requires that to happen at least 100 days after the verdict. The 80-year-old Cosby could face a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Cosby's lead defense attorney Tom Mesereau, best known for successfully defending Michael Jackson in his child molestation trial, said his team is "disappointed" by the verdict, adding that he doesn't think Cosby is guilty of anything, and that they plan on appealing the verdict.
Andrea Costrand worked as the operations manager of the Temple University women's basketball team. Cosby had long been a major supporter of the university and he and Costrand had become close and she viewed him as a mentor, until the incident in January 2004. Cosby had invited her to his home in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and offered her three blue pills along with some red wine, to help her to relax. She soon became incapacitated and could feel his fingers penetrating her. When she came to, he was groping her and penetrating her with his fingers while forcing her hand on his penis.
Cosby had maintained that the relationship was consensual, and the original trial that was brought to court last June ended in a deadlocked mistrial, with the jury failing to reach a verdict after more than 50 hours of deliberations. While Cosby had been accused of sexual assault by more than 50 women, Costrand's case was the only one to make it to trial, with many already surpassing the statute of limitations. The charges against Cosby were filed on December 30, 2015, just 12 days before the statute of limitations were set to expire. Cosby's attorneys tried numerous times to get the charges dropped, but this new trial featured testimony from several other accusers.
The first trial featured just one other accuser taking the stand, and while Cosby's attorneys tried to prevent other accusers from testifying, those attempts failed. Five other accusers took the stand, Janice Dickinson, Heidi Thomas, Janice Baker-Kinney, Lise-Lotte Lublin and Chelan Lasha, all of whom claimed they were drugged with wine and/or pills by Cosby, matching the testimony given by Costrand. During the first trial last year, Cosby's attorney's tried to paint their client's relationship with Costrand as a romantic one, but they took a different approach this time around, portraying her as a "gold digger."
Cosby's defense attorneys repeatedly brought up the $3.4 million settlement Costrand received from a civil lawsuit against Cosby. The settlement amount had been previously undisclosed until this new trial. Steele had brought up the settlement amount in his opening statement, and while the defense tried to claim that Costrand betrayed Cosby for over $3 million, that strategy backfired. Deadline reports that other Cosby victims sitting in the Norristown, Pennsylvania courtroom, "shrieked and cried in delight" when the verdict was read this morning. As for the sentencing, there has been no indication when the judge will hand down his sentence quite yet, but the iconic comedian once known as America's Dad is now a convicted felon.