Bill Cosby’s jury deadlocked in 2017, and a retrial was scheduled for the fall and later pushed to the spring of 2018.
In the mean time, Cosby Joked about the sexual assault accusations that over 60 women have issued against him.
But Cosby isn’t joking now. The jury in his second trial has come back and found the disgraced actor guilty.
On Thursday afternoon, Cosby’s attorneys announced that the jury had reached a guilty verdict.
Cosby has been found guilty of three counts of indecent assault.
He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison per charge, though experts consider that it’s likely that he’ll serve those years concurrently.
Nonetheless, this is a tremendous victory for the dozens of women who have come forward with damning accusations against him.
This was an uphill battle for Constand and for prosecutors.
Sex crimes crimes are notoriously difficult to successfully prosecute, and celebrities can famously rely upon star power.
Even with knowledge of the accusations against Cosby being almost universal and even after 12 days of testimony, Cosby’s jury took their time with deliberations.
On Wednesday, they even asked the judge for the state’s definition of “consent.”
The judge informed them that the state of Pennsylvania does not have a legal definition for the term, and that they should use their best judgment.
As it turns out, they did.
Bill Cosby has been accused by dozens of women of drugging them and then sexually assaulting them.
In the case of Andrea Constand, he is accused of having drugged her and then molested her.
Jurors at his first trial listened to Cosby describe women in a resoundingly creepy manner, but while that might be considered as evidence, it’s not the same as proof.
Other evidence presented included Andrea Constand’s initial statements after the fact, her testimony in court, and (despite Cosby’s legal team’s efforts to exclude them),the testimonies from some of his other alleged victims.
Cosby’s team’s legal strategy involved painting Constand as a lying opportunist who, they say, turned a consensual hookup into a fabricated assault in order to achieve fame and wealth.
The jury saw it differently.
In reality, most women who come forward with accusations against powerful men face stigma and shaming.
In fact, as the prosecution pointed out, this kind of treatment against Constand is part of why so many women are reluctant to come forward in the first place.
Cosby recently made light of the accusations against him at an unannounced appearance at a club that people nonetheless came to witness.
Afterwards, he was asked if he thought that the #MeToo movement and the growing cultural awareness of the sex monsters who use fame and money to silence their victims would impact his retrial.
Cosby shrugged, making an “I don’t know” face.
Perhaps the 80-year-old truly didn’t know. No one was certain.
But a jury deadlocked last summer and another jury convicted this spring.
One cannot help but wonder if increased awareness of the terrible actions of famous men played some role as they used their best judgment to reach a verdict.
It is entirely possible that Cosby, giving his age and ailing health, will die in prison.
Many would say that it’s no less than he deserves, given that his crimes against Constand barely scratch the surface of the accusations against him.
We hope that this comes as a source of comfort and vindication for his accusers.
And we hope that this comes as a wake-up call to people who refuse to believe that the funny man who appeared on Jell-O commercials could be the monster they’ve heard described.