On Thursday, in the first big celebratory trail of the #MeToo era, Bill Cosby was convicted on three counts of sexual assault, reported CNN. Cosby, who broke all racial barriers in Hollywood on his way to TV superstardom as America’s Dad, was charged guilty of drugging and molesting a woman.

Drugged and Assaulted the Woman after Promise of Mentorship

The 80-year-old, African-American actor could end up spending the rest of his life in prison. The jury concluded he sexually violated Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He had however claimed that the encounter was consensual.

Cosby’s image was that of a pioneering actor, who was admired throughout the nation for his role as Dr Cliff Huxtable on the 1980s megahit “The Cosby Show”.  It took less than two days and a seven-man, five-woman jury to convict Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a Temple University women’s basketball operations director. Constand, more than three decades his junior, was lured by the actor into his home with promises of mentorship.

Constand, 45, told jurors that Cosby drugged her with three blue pills which he termed as “your friends”, and then sexually assaulted her, as she lay immobilized, unable to resist or say no.

Cosby’s lawyers slammed #MeToo, calling Cosby its victim and likening it to a witch hunt or a lynching.

Also: Sex Abuse Case: Bill Cosby ‘Paid’ Survivor $3.38 Mn To Keep Mum

Charged Guilty

The actor, who was quiet while the verdict was read, later lashed out loudly at the District Attorney in court, abusing the prosecutor. This was after the latter demanded Cosby’s immediate imprisonment, as there was a possibility that he might flee. However, the final judgement allowed the actor to remain free on bail until the sentence is finally announced.

A two-week retrial took place in which prosecutors put five other women on the stand. All of them testified that Cosby, married for 54 years, drugged and violated them, too. The verdict came right after the retrial.

The panel reached a verdict after deliberating for 14 hours over two days. Cosby could get up to 10 years in prison on each of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault. It was the only criminal case to arise from a load of allegations. More than 60 women said that the former TV star drugged and molested them over a span of five decades.

In a deposition he gave over a decade ago as part of Constand’s lawsuit, Cosby himself had confirmed revelations about drugs and extramarital sex. The sedative which he used was a popular party drug before the US banned it more than 30 years ago. He had also acknowledged giving pills to Constand before their sexual encounter. He, however, identified them as cold and allergy medicine Benadryl and insisted that they were meant to help her relax.

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