By Aaron Miller-
Comedian and TV icon Bill Cosby has been convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault at his high profile sexual-assault retrial.
The announcement came on the second day of deliberations, in a case that has gripped America. The judgment put to bed the question of whether Cosby was a serial predator, conducting himself in public as a dignified comedian. Cosby had carried an air of confidence throughout most of the trial, believing his counsel who must have assured him victory was the most likely outcome for him. After all, there were no independent witnesses, and the well known American star had carved a good name for himself as Adad through the 80’s sitcom. ‘The Cosby show’.
Lawyers and advocates for rape victims began an immediate celebration outside court.
Cosby’s first trial was deadlocked after days of deliberations, forcing the declaration of a mistrial by Judge Steven O’Neill . This time, the American actor had pumped big bucks into his legal team, Mensreau was already an acclaimed lawyer who won the Jackson case.
He had presented all the girls as manipulating, gold diggers, chasing publicity and money. This time, the jury believed the women, after patterns in their accounts suggesting Cosby had knowingly drugged them before sexually assaulting them.
This retrial was complete. The jury of seven men and five women unanimously concluded that Cosby was a sexual predator who should be jailed for his offences. charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, could get 10 years in prison on each count.
At 80 and in failing health, any prison term is likely a death sentence.
Advocates for rape victims and lawyers who represent many of the five-dozen women who have accused Cosby of being a serial rapist immediately started celebrating outside the courthouse here. There had been several protests before the retrial of this case, but the jury was deaf to all of those whilst locked away at a nearby hotel.
Cosby will be entitled to appeal the judgement, but he will have to demonstrate bias beyond a reasonable doubt. That will be difficult, more so, with a unanimous judgment like this one.
Cosby was originally charged in December 2015, after Cosby was accused by 60 women who claimed thew shamed star drugged and assaulted them in episodes dating back to the mid-1960s. After Cosby’s accuser began to pour out, the Associated Press went to federal court to demand the deposition Cosby gave in the civil suit be released “in the public interest,”. They were successful. The deposition revealed that Cosby acknowledged acquiring drugs, specifically quaaludes, to give to women he sought for sex. This new evidence empowered prosecutors with the “new evidence” they needed to revive Constand’s case.
The retrial was dramatically different to the first. There were 13 days of testimony with more witnesses who testified against Cosby, sealed his fate. Cosby leaves the court a convicted sexual predator, it will be a very long way back for him to any kind of normality.