NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby lashed out at the prosecutor with an expletive-laden tirade in the courtroom after being convicted in his sexual assault retrial Thursday.
The outburst came moments after Cosby was convicted of drugging and molesting a woman in the first big celebrity trial of #MeToo era.
“Doesn’t matter that I have a plane a**hole!” Cosby yelled at District Attorney Kevin Steele following a request to revoke bail due to Cosby’s “unlimited wealth.”
“I’m sick of him!” Cosby shouted.
The judge decided Cosby can remain free on $1 million bail while he awaits sentencing but restricted him to Montgomery County, where his home is. No sentencing date was set.
The panel of seven men and five women deliberated for about 14 hours before returning guilty verdicts on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
The guilty verdict on the three counts completes the spectacular late-life downfall of a comedian who broke racial barriers in Hollywood on his way to TV superstardom as America’s Dad.
The 80-year-old comedian is accused of drugging and violating a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.
Cosby could end up spending his final years in prison after a jury concluded he sexually violated Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He claimed the encounter was consensual.
He is likely to get less than that under state sentencing guidelines, but given his age, even a modest term could mean he will die behind bars.
Cosby waved to the crowd outside the courthouse, got into an SUV and left without saying anything. His lawyer Tom Mesereau declared “the fight is not over” and said he will appeal.
Shrieks erupted in the courtroom when the verdict was announced, and some of Cosby’s accusers whimpered and cried. Constand remained stoic, then hugged her lawyer and members of the prosecution team. She left court without comment.
“Justice has been done!” celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who represented some of Cosby’s accusers, said on the courthouse steps. “We are so happy that finally we can say women are believed.”
Constand, 45, a former Temple women’s basketball administrator, told jurors that Cosby knocked her out with three blue pills he called “your friends” and then penetrated her with his fingers as she lay immobilized, unable to resist or say no.
It was the only criminal case to arise from a barrage of allegations from more than 60 women who said the former TV star drugged and molested them over a span of five decades.
“The time for the defendant to escape justice is over,” prosecutor Stewart Ryan said in his closing argument. “It’s finally time for the defendant to dine on the banquet of his own consequences.”
Another prosecutor, Kristen Feden, said Cosby was “nothing like the image that he played on TV” as sweater-wearing, wisdom-dispensing father of five Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show.”
Prosecutors used Cosby’s past admissions about drugs and sex as well as the testimony of five other women to help bolster accuser Andrea Constand’s allegations. Cosby’s lawyers argued Constand leveled false accusations against Cosby so she could sue him and extract a huge civil settlement.
It’s the only criminal case to arise from allegations from more than 60 women.
Cosby’s retrial took place against the backdrop of #MeToo, the movement against sexual misconduct that has taken down powerful men in rapid succession, among them Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey and Sen. Al Franken.
The jurors all indicated they were aware of #MeToo but said before the trial they could remain impartial. Cosby’s lawyers slammed #MeToo, calling Cosby its victim and likening it to a witch hunt or a lynching.
After failing to win a conviction last year, prosecutors had more courtroom weapons at their disposal for the retrial. The other accusers’ testimony helped move the case beyond a he-said, she-said, allowing prosecutors to argue that Cosby was a menace to women long before he met Constand. Only one other accuser was permitted to testify at Cosby’s first trial.
After the verdict, the district attorney became teary-eyed as he commended Constand for what he said was courage in coming forward. As Constand stood silently behind him in a bright white blazer, Steele apologized to her for a previous DA’s decision in 2005 not to charge Cosby.
Steele said Cosby “was a man who had evaded this moment for far too long.”
“He used his celebrity, he used his wealth, he used his network of supporters to help him conceal his crimes,” the district attorney said. “Now, we really know today who was really behind that act, who the real Bill Cosby was.”
Cosby’s new defense team, led by Michael Jackson lawyer Tom Mesereau, launched a highly aggressive attack on Constand and the other women.
Their star witness, a longtime Temple employee, testified that Constand once spoke of setting up a prominent person and suing. Constand sued Cosby after prosecutors initially declined to file charges, settling with him for nearly $3.4 million over a decade ago.
“You’re dealing with a pathological liar,” Mesereau told the jury.
His colleague on the defense team, Katheen Bliss, derided the other accusers as home-wreckers and suggested they made up their stories in a bid for money and fame.
But Cosby himself had long ago confirmed sordid revelations about drugs and extramarital sex.
In a deposition he gave over a decade ago as part of Constand’s lawsuit, Cosby acknowledged he had obtained quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with, “the same as a person would say, ‘Have a drink.'” The sedative was a popular party drug before the U.S. banned it more than 30 years ago.
Cosby also acknowledged giving pills to Constand before their sexual encounter. But he identified them as the over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine Benadryl and insisted they were meant to help her relax.
The entertainer broke racial barriers as the first black actor to star in a network show, “I Spy,” in the 1960s. He created the top-ranked “Cosby Show” two decades later. He also found success with his “Fat Albert” animated TV show and served as pitchman for Jello-O pudding.
Later in his career, he attracted controversy for lecturing about social dysfunction in poor black neighborhoods, railing against young people stealing things and wearing baggy pants.
It was Cosby’s reputation as a public moralist that prompted a federal judge, acting in response to a request from The Associated Press, to unseal portions of the deposition.
Its release helped destroy the “Cosby Show” star’s career and good-guy image. It also prompted authorities to reopen the criminal investigation, and he was charged in late 2015.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission. Constand has done so.
© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.