Comedian Bill Cosby was found guilty by the jury in his retrial over accusations made by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand on Thursday. The judge allowed Cosby to be released on bail, which CNN reports was in the amount of $1 million. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Cosby, 80, was re-tried in a Pennsylvania court on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, stemming from former Temple University employee Constand’s accusation that the comedian drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home outside of Philadelphia. The jury found him guilty in a unanimous vote on all three counts, after going into deliberations Wednesday. The trial was in its 14th day when the verdict was handed down.
After the verdict was read, prosecutors argued that Cosby should be held without bail, calling hima flight risk because, they said, he owns a private plane. To this, Cosby exclaimed “he doesn’t have a plane, you a–hole.”
During the re-trial, jurors heard testimony from Constand as well as five other Cosby accusers, including model Janice Dickinson, who testified that the comedian raped her in Lake Tahoe in 1982. Cosby defense attorney Kathleen Bliss took aim at Dickinson while making closing arguments, painting her as a “failed starlet” and “aged-out model.”
Constand herself testified in detail, saying that she had a sip of wine and was given three blue pills by Cosby, after which she “began to see double vision,” adding that her legs became rubbery and she began to slur her words.
Constand told the court that at one point she “jolted awake” and “felt my breasts being touched,” adding that the comedian put her hand on his penis and masturbated himself with it.
Cosby had maintained that his interaction with Constand was consensual, and that he had given her Benadryl in an effort to help her relax.
Cosby’s defense sought to highlight what it believed to be inconsistencies in Constand’s accounts of the incident, and painted her as a “con artist” and a “pathological liar” during opening and closing arguments.
Early in the trial it was revealed that Constand had received a $3.38 million settlement from Cosby after she filed a civil suit against him, a settlement that Cosby defense attorney Tom Mesereau likened to highway robbery during closing arguments.
A chief witness for the defense, Marguerite Jackson — who worked alongside Constand at Temple University — provided testimony saying that she once shared a hotel room with Constand during one of the women’s basketball team’s away game nights in Rhode Island, where a news report on a celebrity accused of assault prompted Constand to tell Jackson that a “high-profile person” once assaulted her.
Jackson continued, “I said, ‘Did this really happen to you?’ and [Constand] said ‘no, no it didn’t. But I could say it happened, get that money. I could quit my job, go back to school.'”
Defense attorney Kathleen Bliss made much of Jackson’s statements during closing arguments, contending that the case was “over” with Jackson’s testimony.
Cosby’s initial trial in the matter ended in a mistrial in July 2017 after the jury was unable to reach a verdict following five days of deliberations.