Bill Cosby has been found guilty of sexual assault, in a major milestone in the #MeToo movement.
The world famous entertainer, 80, was on trial for drugging and assaulting ex-basketball player Andrea Constand in 2004, and was convicted on three charges of aggravated indecent assault.
The jury announced their decision after just 14 hours of deliberation and a trial lasting 14 days. The former TV star will remain out of jail until his sentencing, the judge ruled.
He could now face spending the rest of his life behind bars, as each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.
According to the Guardian, the charges included that he “did penetrate the genitals of the complainant with a part of his body without consent”; that he “did penetrate the genitals of the complainant with a part of his body while the complainant was unconscious”; and that he administered “drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance”.
This was the second time the disgraced star had stood trial for the allegations, after an earlier jury failed to reach a verdict in June 2017.
According to several reports, Judge Steven T O’Neill repeatedly called for order as the court toom “erupted” on hearing the verdict – while Cosby remaining seated with his head down.
However, when DA Kevin Steele demanded the bail be revoked as Cosby could prove a flight risk, the former actor reportedly yelled out that he doesn’t “have a plane, you a**hole”.
After calling for order, O’Neill added: “Based upon his age and his medical condition I’m not going to simply lock him up at this stage.”
The judge later thanked the jury for “removing themselves from their families and lives.” He also reportedly told them “you have sacrificed much for you country and justice.”
Meanwhile, Constand is one of a stream of accusers who have alleged Cosby assaulted them through the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. However, due to statute of limitation laws, only one charge has been brought to trial.
It comes just months after Cosby’s daughter Ensa died aged 44, following a long battle with renal disease. She was the second of Cosby’s children to pass away. His son Ennis Cosby was murdered at the age of 27 in a failed robbery attempt in Los Angeles in 1997.
Ensa was an outspoken supporter of her father, and even released a scathing public statement against her father’s alleged victims last year, saying he had bene “publicly lynched” and that she believed he was innocent.