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NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Iconic entertainer Bill Cosby was convicted on three counts of sexual assault Thursday, a decision that punctuates one of the most thundering falls from grace in American cultural history.The courtroom rocked with emotion as the jury foreperson, a slender woman with long graying hair and glasses, said those three words — guilty, guilty, guilty — for assaulting Andrea Constand, the only woman among dozens of accusers to bring criminal charges against the disgraced comedian. Two women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault but did not testify at the trial burst out in loud sobs from their seats in one of the back rows of the cramped and tension-filed courtroom.They were escorted from the courtroom by security officials, but their tears — tears of joy, sadness and exhaustion after a frustrating years-long struggle — still filtered into the courtroom through the closed, heavy wooden doors.Once one of the nation’s most admired men, a pioneering African American actor beloved for his role as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the 1980s megahit “The Cosby Show,” Cosby was recast in a suburban Philadelphia courtroom as a merciless predator and sexual deviant in the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era of awareness about sexual assault and harassment. A 7-man, 5-woman jury took less than two days to convict Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting Constand, a Temple University women’s basketball operations director more than three decades his junior whom the comedian lured into his home with promises of mentorship. No sentencing date has been set. The conviction comes in a retrial of a 2017 case in which a mistrial was declared.When Cosby received the message about his fate — a conviction that could send him to prison for as many 30 years, essentially a life sentence for a man his age — the old comic’s jaw muscles pulsed. He sat rigidly still.But Cosby’s composure slipped when the jury filed out. The comedian exploded in anger as District Attorney Kevin Steele argued that Cosby has access to a private plane and should have his $1 million bail revoked because he might be a flight risk.“He doesn’t have a plane, you a--hole!” Cosby shouted in an earsplitting roar that startled the courtroom and sent necks craning for a glimpse of his moment of distilled rage. “He doesn’t know!”Steven T. O’Neill, the Montgomery County judge who oversaw the case, declined to revoke Cosby’s bail but ordered him not to leave his estate in nearby Elkins Park, Pa.Cosby paused for a moment before leaving the courtroom. He slumped ever so slightly at the defense table. He leaned on a slender cane, his constant companion during the long courtroom battles. His public relations agent extended a hand. But the funnyman, the curmudgeonly father figure of TV lore, was surrounded only by people on his payroll. Attorneys and publicists encircled him, but his two adult daughters — absent throughout the trial — were nowhere to be seen. His wife, Camille, who’d appeared only for closing arguments, was not there, either.
Invoking the name of Nelson Mandela and citing the former South African president's experience as a political prisoner, Bill Cosby reportedly says he's preparing himself mentally for incarceration stemming from his stunning conviction on charges of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman.“This is what they wanted,” the 80-year-old Cosby reportedly told the New York Post's Page Six column in an interview following his conviction last week by a Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, jury.The column, published Saturday evening, says Cosby repeatedly spoke to Page Six over the past year with the agreement that nothing could be shared publicly during the legal proceeding.In an earlier interview, Cosby reportedly told Page Six that he has thought about what Mandela endured in prison to prepare himself for going to "that place," meaning prison.“But, you know, I think back to the time when Camille and I went to visit Nelson Mandela in South Africa," Cosby said, referring to his wife of 54 years, Camille Cosby. "He was a free man, but I remember when we met him at Robben Island where he had been in a prison for all of those years. I sat in that cell where he lived, and I saw how he lived . . . what he had to eat to live and what he went through.“So, if they send me to that place, then that’s what they will do, and I will have to go there.”But Andrew Wyatt, Cosby's spokesman, denied the comedian gave an interview to Page Six."He never did that," Wyatt told ABC News on Sunday. "That's totally false. He never gave Page Six an interview."In a statement to ABC News, a spokesperson for the New York Post said, "The Post stands by its story."
PHILADELPHIA – A juror on the Bill Cosby sexual assault retrial case says the comedian’s own words sealed his fate.Harrison Snyder, in an interview aired Monday on ABC’s Good Morning America, said that it “wasn’t an open and shut case.” But the 22-year-old says Cosby’s deposition – in which he admitted giving women drugs to have sex with them – was the evidence that made him believe he was guilty.
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Only when a male comedian called Cosby a rapist did the accusation take hold.In 2004, when Andrea Constand filed a lawsuit against Bill Cosby for sexual assault, her lawyers asked me to testify. Cosby had drugged and raped me, too, I told them. The lawyers said I could testify anonymously as a Jane Doe, but I ardently rejected that idea. My name is not Jane Doe. My name is Barbara Bowman, and I wanted to tell my story in court. In the end, I didn’t have the opportunity to do that, because Cosby settled the suit for an undisclosed amount of money.Over the years, I’ve struggled to get people to take my story seriously. So last month, when reporter Lycia Naff contacted me for an interview for the Daily Mail, I gave her a detailed account. I told her how Cosby won my trust as a 17-year-old aspiring actress in 1985, brainwashed me into viewing him as a father figure, and then assaulted me multiple times. In one case, I blacked out after having dinner and one glass of wine at his New York City brownstone, where he had offered to mentor me and discuss the entertainment industry. When I came to, I was in my panties and a man’s t-shirt, and Cosby was looming over me. I’m certain now that he drugged and raped me. But as a teenager, I tried to convince myself I had imagined it. I even tried to rationalize it: Bill Cosby was going to make me a star and this was part of the deal. The final incident was in Atlantic City, where we had traveled for an industry event. I was staying in a separate bedroom of Cosby’s hotel suite, but he pinned me down in his own bed while I screamed for help. I’ll never forget the clinking of his belt buckle as he struggled to pull his pants off. I furiously tried to wrestle from his grasp until he eventually gave up, angrily called me “a baby” and sent me home to Denver.Back then, the incident was so horrifying that I had trouble admitting it to myself, let alone to others. But I first told my agent, who did nothing. (Cosby sometimes came to her office to interview people for “The Cosby Show” and other acting jobs.) A girlfriend took me to a lawyer, but he accused me of making the story up. Their dismissive responses crushed any hope I had of getting help; I was convinced no one would listen to me. That feeling of futility is what ultimately kept me from going to the police. I told friends what had happened, and although they sympathized with me, they were just as helpless to do anything about it. I was a teenager from Denver acting in McDonald’s commercials. He was Bill Cosby: consummate American dad Cliff Huxtable and the Jell-O spokesman. Eventually, I had to move on with my life and my career.
Based on his conviction this week on three assault charges, comedian and TV star Bill Cosby could be sentenced to 30 years in prison.But legal experts said the 80-year-old certainly will spend less time than that behind bars, and there's a very real possibility that he may not ever be incarcerated.Why? Well, it's mostly to do with his defense team's plan to appeal the guilty verdict -- likely on the grounds that the decision to allow five other accusers to testify in the trial unfairly prejudiced the jury.Cosby's attorney, Tom Mesereau, will probably ask the court that his client be given home confinement during the appeal, which could take months or even years, CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson said."I think he'll ask the court and do whatever he needs to, to have his client remain out at liberty until these issues are decided, whether it was appropriate to allow all those accusers to testify, and how prejudicial and unfair would that be," Jackson said.The decision on Cosby's bail is up to Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O'Neill, who oversaw the case. His prior rulings suggest he may allow Cosby to remain on home confinement.On Thursday, O'Neill dismissed the prosecution's plea to revoke Cosby's $1 million bail and remand him to jail.