Actor and comedian Bill Cosby has been convicted by a jury of sexual assault.
The 80-year-old former star of The Cosby Show was found guilty by a jury near Philadelphia of all three counts of sexual assault.
As the decision was announced, there were shrieks in the court from some of the women who had accused him of molesting or assaulting them and whose voices had for years been ignored or disbelieved.
During a trial that lasted 17 days, the court heard how he had drugged and sexually assaulted former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home in 2004. The jury took 14 hours to return its verdict.
The decision came after a two-week retrial in which prosecutors put five other women on the stand who testified that Cosby, married for 54 years, drugged and violated them as well.
One of those women who spoke brushed back tears as she said to him: “You remember, don’t you, Mr Cosby?”
The panel of seven men and five women, reached a verdict after a previous jury delivered a mistrial one year ago.
Afterwards, activists and other women who had accused the star of assaulting them, said the verdict vindicated the decision by prosecutors to try him again.
The charges on which the comedian was convicted, each carry a sentence of ten years in jail, although his legal team indicated it would appeal the result.
Preparing for prison
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 prison.
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.”
However, Andrew Wyatt, Cosby’s spokesman, denied the comedian gave an interview to Page Six.
For now, Cosby will need to register as a sex offender and will undergo an assessment to determine if he is a sexual predator.