After deliberating 14 hours over two days, a Norristown, Pennsylvania jury found Bill Cosby guilty of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004.
It was Cosby’s second time facing a jury on sexual assault charges based on Constand’s allegations — the first was declared a mistrial in June 2017 after a different jury failed to reach a verdict. Cosby remains free on bail until sentencing.
Consent and Control
Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, defined under Pennsylvania sexual assault laws as penetration “without the complainant’s consent,” or if a “person has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance.”
Constand claims Cosby, then in his 60s, gave her three blue pills that he told her would help to relieve stress while she was at his house in January 2004. After she took them, she became unfocused and confused and says she passed out on a couch. “I felt Mr. Cosby on the couch behind me, and my vagina was being penetrated quite forcefully, and I felt my breasts being touched,” Constand testified during the trial. “I wanted it to stop … I couldn’t say anything. I was trying to get my hands to move, my legs to move, and the message just wasn’t getting there.”
In a prior deposition regarding Constand’s civil lawsuit, Cosby acknowledged he had obtained Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with, and admitted to giving pills to Constand before their sexual encounter, but maintained the encounter was consensual.
Planes and Prison
Judge Steven O’Neill allowed Cosby to remain free on bail until sentencing, but did not announce a date for a sentencing hearing. It was during bail discussions that Cosby allegedly became his most animated. Prosecutors argued for Cosby to be jailed as a potential flight risk, noting that he owned a private plane. “He doesn’t have a plane, you a**hole,” Cosby shouted back, apparently referring to himself in the third person. “He doesn’t know.”
Cosby, now 80, could face up to 30 years in prison.