Cosby found guilty, at last

After two days of deliberation, the jury for the Bill Cosby retrial declared him guilty on the three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Cosby now faces up to ten years on each of the three counts, after the jury concluded that Cosby sexually assaulted Temple University employee, Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. 

Cosby is out on bail pending a sentencing hearing.

Cosby’s attorney labeled Constand a ‘pathological liar’ and suggested her plan was to sue Cosby and gain a large settlement.

"We are so happy that finally we can say, women are believed; and not only on hashtag #MeToo, but in a court of law where they were under oath. Where they testified truthfully, where they were attacked, where they were smeared, where they were denigrated. Where there were attempts to discredit them. And after all is said and done, women were finally believed," Constand's Attorney Gloria Allred said in a statement.

While the hung jury had reviewed 52 hours of evidence over six days, this jury deliberated for 14 hours over two days and was ready to convict.

Despite the defence team's doubling down on a fruitless (and tasteless) effort to stir doubt on Constand’s credibility — going so far as to question the legitimacy of Cosby's arrest — the jury reached a verdict that brought relief to Cosby's victims.

Post-meltdown that was his mistrial, and the uproar that followed in the #MeToo movement, Cosby's survivors have finally dismantled and dethroned him of his so-called “America’s Dad” position.

Constand’s case is the only one to have reached trial, and her allegations are the only ones that will see him charged criminally. Constand initially told police in 2005 — a year out from the assault. But Montgomery County prosecutors decided against filing charges, so she settled with Cosby in a lawsuit for $3.38 million.

Constand and other survivors spoke up again in 2015 with more accusations, at which point Montgomery County prosecutor Kevin Steele filed charges.

Steele spoke after the verdict:

"What was revealed through this investigation was a man who had spent decades preying on women that he drugged and sexually assaulted, and a man who had evaded this moment here today, for far too long. He used his celebrity, he used his wealth, he used his network of supporters to help him conceal his crimes."

In court, Steele asked that Cosby's $1 million bail be revoked as he had just been convicted of serious crimes and owns a private plane — matters he said suggest that Cosby might be a flight risk.

Cosby stood up and shouted, “He doesn’t have a plane, you asshole!"

Judge Steven T. O’Neill maintained that Cosby was not a flight risk in his view and allowed bail, but instructed authorities to keep his passport.

Cosby will be monitored by a GPS tracking device for the time being.

Tarana Burke founded the #MeToo movement in 2007. She notes the conviction's significance on Cosby's survivors, and in a larger sociopolitical context.

"I'm so hopeful that they'll rest well tonight, knowing they have some recourse," Burke said in an interview with MSNBC's Ali Velshi.

It's no doubt a step in the right direction for survivors sexual assault who have spent years fighting this battle.

Janice Baker-Kinney tweets:

Outside the courthouse, survivors met the verdict with tears and laughter. As the case comes to a long-awaited close, these women can take a breath of relief, and know some form of justice has been met for now.

Rebecca Costello is a twenty-one year old English Major interested in delving into the field of literature and screenwriting. She was previously both Editor and Nonfiction Editor for her college's annual literary magazine and is currently knee-deep in Saskatchewan history, working full-time in a historical museum for the summer. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.