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Cosby found guilty of sexual assault allegations BY EFUA RICHARDSON

Photo courtesy of eonline.com

Andrea Constand testified against Bill Cosby in sexual assault trial.

Former actor and comedian, Bill Cosby, has been found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home nearly 14 years ago.

 

A jury at the Montgomery County Courthouse convicted the “Cosby Show” star on three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand. The three counts, all felonies, are each punishable by up to 10 years in state prison.

 

The incident that sparked this trial dates back to 2004. Constand, a former Temple University athletics administrator, knew Cosby as a member of Temple’s board of directors, the university’s most notable alumni. He had established a friendship with her, soon becoming a fatherly mentor. Their cordial relationship took a turn for the worst and became the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

 

Constand recalls that in 2004, Cosby, who is 36 years her senior, invited her to his home in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. After having discussed the stress associated with her decision to leave Temple, Constand recalled Cosby going upstairs and returning with three blue pills, which he insisted would “take the edge off.”

 

About 30 minutes after taking the medication, Constand found herself nearly paralyzed, unable to move or properly speak.

 

“Everything was blurry and dizzy,” she told police.

 

Cosby proceeded to lay her on his couch, quickly moving his hands to her breasts and lower extremities. Constand woke up around 4 a.m., sore and in a confused daze.

 

Constand filed a civil suit, part of which included a deposition of Cosby.

 

In the 2005 deposition, Cosby admitted to the assault, which in his eyes was a consensual sexual encounter involving only “digital penetration.”

 

“I don’t hear her say anything. And I don’t feel her say anything,” Cosby said.

“And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped,” he said.

 

Cosby went on to admit that he used quaaludes, a now-banned sedative, on a number of occasions to drug young women before having sex with them. He additionally admitted to offering Constand and other accusers monetary relief in attempt to placate them.

 

Soon after news of the suit surfaced, a number of ‘Jane Doe witnesses’ claimed to have been similarly assaulted by the actor and came forward to tell their encounters, providing support for Constand’s case.

The suit was settled in November 2006; an undisclosed amount of money was paid and Cosby’s deposition,

along with accounts of Constand and the Jane Doe witnesses, were sealed.

 

However, the investigation was reopened in July 2015, after a request made by the Associated Press prompted a judge to reveal portions of the document.

 

A retrial began on April 9, 2018 and included testimony from five other women who said they were also victims of Cosby’s sexual abuse. Constand is just one of Cosby’s 60 accusers who have come forward about the actor’s molestation and sexual abuse.

 

Some of the accusations date back as far as the mid 1960s.

 

The verdict comes as a relief to many, and to others, a sign of a better tomorrow.

 

“This is a victory,” said Lili Bernard, one of Cosby’s accusers. “[It’s] a victory for all sexual assault survivors, female and male. It’s a victory for womanhood.”

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