Published: Mon, April 30, 2018
Life&Culture | By Ben Goodman

Why Bill Cosby may not ever spend any time in prison

Why Bill Cosby may not ever spend any time in prison

United States comedian Bill Cosby has been found guilty of three counts of sexual assault, each of which carries a potential 10 years in prison.

On Thursday, Cosby was convicted of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.

Cosby could face a long prison sentence, but the date of his sentencing has yet to be confirmed.

He lost his temper after the verdict, as prosecutors argued he should be denied bail.

"He doesn't have a plane, you asshole!" yelled the actor, after the district attorney claimed he could flee anywhere in the world by private jet.

Cosby "was a man who had evaded this moment for far too long", Steele said.

That ruling was a victory for prosecutors eager to move the case beyond a he-said, she-said.

"Justice has been done!" celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who represented some of Cosby's accusers, said on the courthouse steps.

Constand sued Cosby after prosecutors initially declined to file charges, settling with him for almost $3.4 million more than a decade ago.

Its release helped destroy the "Cosby Show" star's career and good-guy image.

Around 60 women over five decades have publicly accused the Emmy award-winning actor of being a sexual predator.

That's when she joined forces with attorney Gloria Allred and chose to advocate for a bill that would change that, and, in May 2015, Gov. Brian Sandoval signed legislation that extended the statute of limitations for rape charges to 20 years.

When asked if he was going to appeal, himself and follow lawyer Kathleen Bliss added: 'Yes, very strongly'.

She told the court she had gone to the home of her then friend Cosby, to discuss her resignation.

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She said he had invited her to dinner at his home and had given her three blue pills to "relax" her.

Minutes later, she was suffering double vision and quickly lost consciousness. She said she was "slut shamed" on the stand by Cosby's legal team, but that she "just sat there and got mad".

Ms Constand reported the attack, but the district attorney refused to press charges. It also prompted authorities to reopen the criminal investigation, and he was charged in late 2015.

But #MeToo, a movement more powerful than an atomic bomb, shattered the due process paradigms that existed since well before I earned my law degree in 1987. It shows that the shift in our society and culture from doubting to believing victims is also affecting the justice system.

Cosby's publicists Ebonee Benson and Andrew Wyatt defended the defamed comedian just one day after he was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault.

At Cosby's first trial, which ended in a deadlocked jury less than a year ago, only one additional accuser was allowed to testify.

The verdict ends years of controversy for the star of the enormously popular comedy series, The Cosby Show, after dozens of women made similar allegations. But during the relative lull between hearings, a tectonic shift took place on the social landscape, and Harvey Weinstein became the most hated man in Hollywood. And despite years of allegations, he seemed untouchable.

Crucial to the second trial was the judge's decision to let five other accusers testify.

Heidi Thomas told the court that the comedian served her spiked wine that made her drowsy for four days in 1984.

Janice Baker-Kinney, who claimed he had drugged and raped her in 1982, said she was relieved this "toxic chain of silence has been broken". Dickinson is still suing him for defamation in civil court in California.

"When it started to sink in, I got so disgusted", Lublin said. "It's just moving from trial ending to the next phase", said Benson.

"My mom's free", she said of the verdict.

Lublin said one of the last things she remembers is Cosby touching her hair and putting his legs near her arms.

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