On Thursday a jury found 80-year old American actor and comedian Bill Cosby guilty of all three counts of aggravated assault levelled against him for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in a Philadelphia suburb in 2004. He faces up to ten years in jail for each individual count and it is safe to assume our favourite actor will be spending the rest of his life in jail. Except he lives to pass the very ripe old age of a hundred and ten.
A sentencing hearing with Judge Steven O’Neill has not yet been scheduled, and Cosby is still out on bail. Last year when the case was brought before the court the jury was unable to reach a verdict but this time, after a good fourteen hours of intense deliberations, the actor was found guilty. Prosecutors argued against releasing him on bail, claiming that he could be a flight risk. A frustrated Cosby lashed out saying he “doesn’t have a plane, you asshole!”.
The case was about Andrea Constand’s experience with the comedian as well as the other numerous women who had come out to accuse him of molesting them sexually. Some of them were in the courtroom at the time of the conviction and they were asked for their reaction to the sentence. Victoria Valentino said, “I stared him down. I just stood there, proud and strong.” An obviously triumphant Lili Bernard stated that “This is a victory not just for … the 62 publicly known Cosby survivors, but it is really a victory for humanity”.
Kristina Ruehli congratulated the victims for being bold enough to come out and state their cases without fear of intimidation. “Hats off to the tenacity of the victims, the media, and the justice system”, she said. Scaachi Koul in a piece on why women never expected Bill Cosby to be convicted, wrote: “This is a victory, but it’s hard to let the whole weight of it sink in”.