US comedian Bill Cosby convicted of sexual assault | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 26.04.2018
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US comedian Bill Cosby convicted of sexual assault

The 80-year-old comedian has been found guilty of aggravated indecent assault in a retrial of 2017 case. The verdict follows other celebrity sexual misconduct revelations that sparked the #MeToo movement.

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'Women are finally believed'

A jury in the city of Pennsylvania found US comedian Bill Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

The verdict is part of the 80-year-old's second trial for drugging and sexually assaulting 45-year-old Andrea Constand in 2004.

Read more: US comedian Bill Cosby goes on trial for alleged sexual assault

The facts of the case:

  • Constand, a former women's basketball administrator, accused Cosby of drugging her with pills before molesting her while she was incapacitated in his Philadelphia home in 2004.
  • The comedian dismissed the charges, claiming the encounter was consensual.
  • The first trial against Cosby ended with a hung jury in 2017, prompting prosecutors to decide to retry him for a second time.
  • On Thursday, the jury found him guilty of all three charges of aggravated indecent assault after 14 hours of deliberation.

Read more: Bill Cosby sexual assault trial ends in mistrial for US comedian-actor

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Bill Cosby accuser: 'I feel like I'm dreaming'

What were the reactions?

After jurors left the courtroom, Cosby stood up and shouted in the direction of District Attorney Kevin Steele: "I'm sick of him!" Steele had been arguing for revoking Cosby's bail.

Steele said: "Money and power or who you are will not stop us from a criminal investigation or prosecuting a case."

Cosby's lawyer, Tom Mesereau, said the "fight is not over" and that his client plans to appeal the verdict.

Gloria Allred, a lawyer representing some of the women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct and testified during the trial, said: "We are so happy that finally we can say, women are believed."

Read more: Disgraced Team USA Gymnastics doctor sentenced to 175 years for sexual abuse

Who is Bill Cosby? Cosby is one of the US's most well-known comedians. His fame reached its apex in the 1980s when he stared in the hit "The Cosby Show" as Dr. Cliff Huxtable.

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100 days after its launch, the #MeToo movement continues

One of many accusations: Constand is one of more than 60 women who have accused Cosby of drugging and molesting them over a period of five decades. The Constand trial was the only criminal case to emerge from the allegations.

#MeToo's shadow: The verdict follows months of media coverage of the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct. The movement began with the publication of sexual harassment and assault allegations against former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein in late 2017.

What happens next? Cosby is set to be sentenced in 60 to 90 days. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Read more: 100 days of #MeToo

amp/rt (dpa, AP, Reuters, AFP)

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