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26 Apr

Bill Cosby Found Guilty of Sexual Assault After Years of Accusations

Bill Cosby on Thursday for his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pa. CreditMark Makela/Getty Images

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — A jury found Bill Cosby guilty Thursday of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home near here 14 years ago, capping the downfall of one of the world’s best-known entertainers, and offering a measure of satisfaction to the dozens of women who for years have accused him of similar assaults against them.

On the second day of its deliberations at the Montgomery County Courthouse in this town northwest of Philadelphia, the jury returned to convict Mr. Cosby of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand, at the time a Temple University employee he had mentored.

The three counts — penetration with lack of consent, penetration while unconscious and penetration after administering an intoxicant — are felonies, each punishable by up to 10 years in state prison, though the sentences could be served concurrently.

It was the second time a jury had considered Mr. Cosby’s fate. His first trial last summer ended with a deadlocked jury after six days of deliberations.

Mr. Cosby sat back in his chair after the verdict was announced and quietly stared down. Several women who have accused Mr. Cosby of abusing them, and attended the trial each day, briefly cheered, then fell silent. Judge Steven T. O’Neill praised the jurors, calling it “an extraordinarily difficult case” and adding, “You have sacrificed much, but you have sacrificed in the service of justice.”

The Montgomery County district attorney, Kevin R. Steele, asked that Mr. Cosby’s $1 million bail be revoked, suggesting he had been convicted of a serious crime, owned a plane and could flee, prompting an angry outburst from Mr. Cosby, who shouted, “He doesn’t have a plane, you asshole.”

“Enough of that,” said Judge O’Neill who said he did not view Mr. Cosby as a flight risk and said he could be released on bail, but would have to surrender his passport and remain in his nearby home.

In recent years, Mr. Cosby, 80, had admitted to decades of philandering, and to giving quaaludes to women as part of an effort to have sex, smashing the image he had built as a moralizing public figure and the upstanding paterfamilias in the wildly popular 1980s and ’90s sitcom “The Cosby Show.” He did not testify in his own defense, avoiding a grilling about those admissions, but he and his lawyers have insisted that his encounter with Ms. Constand was part of a consensual affair, not an assault.

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