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Bill Cosby Trial
September 25, 2018

Bill Cosby was sentenced Tuesday to at least three years in prison, a decision that was welcomed by many of the women who have publicly accused him of sexual assault.

After Cosby was sentenced as result of his conviction on charges of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, at least one woman in the courtroom raised her fist in the air and said "Yes!" reports The Associated Press. Janice Dickinson, a former model who testified that Cosby assaulted her, threw back her head and laughed in the courtroom upon hearing the sentence, reports HuffPost. She reportedly looked at Cosby and said "See, I got the last laugh, pal."

The former comedian, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 60 women, was denied bail. Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill said that "equal justice under the law" meant that Cosby should not be treated differently based on "who he is or who he was," reports BuzzFeed News' Julia Reinstein. O'Neill spoke directly to Cosby in announcing his sentence: "You claimed her silence was consent," he said. "That is not the law."

In a press conference following the sentencing, women who have come forward with allegations said they were glad to have achieved "justice." Chelan Lasha, who also testified during Cosby's trial, said she has "waited 32 years for this day, hoping my nightmare will go away." Representatives for Cosby maintained that he was wrongfully convicted, and said he was the victim of "the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States."

Cosby left the courtroom in handcuffs for his three- to 10-year sentence, which will begin immediately. Summer Meza

September 25, 2018

Bill Cosby on Tuesday was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for his conviction on charges of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University women's basketball administrator Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004. He was declared a "sexually violent predator," and will appear as such on a sex-offender registry for the rest of his life, reports The Associated Press.

The former comedian's defense lawyer argued that Cosby was no longer a threat to the public due to his age, 81, and the fact that he is legally blind. Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill decided that prosecutors had presented "clear and convincing" proof otherwise.

Constand submitted a victim impact statement in support of a strong sentence for Cosby. "Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it," she wrote. "He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature, and my trust in myself and others." Cosby opted not to make a statement when the judge gave him a chance to speak in court Tuesday.

Cosby was facing up to 30 years in prison for three counts of indecent aggravated assault. More than 60 women have accused him of sexual misconduct, but only Constand's report led to criminal charges. Cosby has been on house arrest since his conviction in April. Summer Meza

April 11, 2018

A third accuser took the stand Wednesday in comedian Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial, at one point directly addressing Cosby from the witness stand.

"You remember, don't you, Mr. Cosby?" said Chelan Lasha, who alleges that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1986 when she was a teenager. Lasha testified through tears that she met Cosby in a Las Vegas hotel room because he said he'd arrange a photo shoot for her, and she was an aspiring model. After a photographer did in fact take some pictures, Lasha said Cosby gave her a combination of drugs and alcohol that rendered her immobile, after which he initiated unwanted sexual contact including touching her breast and "humping" her leg.

Lasha's testimony comes after Andrea Constand, the primary plaintiff, and former aspiring actress Heidi Thomas have already taken the stand. Cosby is being tried for sexual assault charges, after his original trial ended with a hung jury last June. Jurors could not unanimously agree on whether to convict him of charges that the comedian drugged and sexually assaulted Constand in 2004.

In total, five additional accusers aside from Constand will testify against Cosby this time around, out of dozens of women who have publicly claimed misconduct by the comedian. Lasha testified that she woke up about 12 hours after taking the drug, and claimed that Cosby threatened her to stay silent after the assault.

Cosby has denied all the allegations against him. After Lasha's outburst in court, Cosby smiled, The Daily Beast reports, and the jury was instructed to ignore Lasha's comment. Cosby's attorneys moved for mistrial after the remark, but the judge denied the motion. Summer Meza

April 9, 2018

The retrial of Andrea Constand's sexual assault case against comedian Bill Cosby is scheduled to begin with opening statements in a suburban Philadelphia courtroom Monday. The first trial ended in a hung jury in June 2017, but there is a new jury of seven men and five women, 10 of the jurors white and two black, plus some other significant changes from the initial trial.

Cosby has a new lead attorney, Tom Mesereau, who is most famous for winning an acquittal for Michael Jackson in a 2005 child molestation case; Mesereau says he will aggressively attack Contsand, who says Cosby drugged and sexually abused her in 2004. Prosecutors will be able to call five additional women to testify about Cosby also allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting them, including former model Janice Dickinson — Judge Steven O'Neill allowed only one other purported Cosby victim to testify in the last trial — and O'Neill is allowing Cosby's team to call a former coworker who is expected to claim that Constand talked about setting up a "high-profile person" to sue. O'Neill may also allow jurors to hear Cosby's deposition from Constand's civil suit, in which he admits to giving women quaaludes before sex. And, of course, the MeToo movement has shifted attitudes about sexual misconduct by powerful men.

Cosby's team has asked that Juror No. 11 be dismissed or talked to, amid reports that he was overheard saying he already thinks Cosby is guilty, potentially setting back opening statements. If convicted, Cosby, 80, faces up to 10 years in prison. Peter Weber

April 2, 2018

Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial began in Pennsylvania on Monday, beginning with jury selection and the revelation of the five additional accusers who will testify against the comedian. Cosby's original trial ended with a hung jury last June, after jurors could not unanimously agree on charges that the comedian drugged and sexually assaulted plaintiff Andrea Constand.

The accusations against Cosby received substantial attention and media coverage, making it difficult to find a pool of new jurors for this second trial who don't already have an opinion about the case, The Associated Press reports. All but 10 of the 120 people screened Monday said they had prior knowledge of Cosby's case, and more than half said they'd already made up their minds about his culpability. Prosecutors and defense attorneys also asked about the #MeToo movement, which legal experts told AP would likely influence the selection process.

In the first trial, only Constand was allowed to allege sexual assault; this time, accusers who would otherwise be outside the statute of limitations for criminal charges will be included. The Daily Beast cross-referenced court documents with public statements to report that former models Janice Dickinson, Lisa Lotte-Lublin, and Chelan Lasha will appear in the retrial, along with Janice Baker-Kinney and Heidi Thomas, all of whom allege that Cosby drugged and assaulted them in the 1980s.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Summer Meza

March 15, 2018

Five additional accusers will be allowed to testify against Bill Cosby when his criminal retrial begins next month, a Pennsylvania judge ruled Thursday.

The ruling is a victory for prosecutors who are seeking to convict the former entertainer of sexual assault. A previous trial ended in a hung jury last summer, after Andrea Constand testified that Cosby had drugged and assaulted her in 2004. Only one additional accuser was allowed to testify with Constand during the first trial.

The New York Times reports that 19 additional accusers wanted to take part in the upcoming retrial. Judge Steven T. O'Neill will allow prosecutors to select any five of the eight most recent allegations, which span between 1982 and 1996.

Prosecutors will seek to paint a picture of a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct by Cosby, who faced a flurry of allegations from dozens of women in 2015. Cosby has denied the allegations and has said his encounter with Constand was consensual, NBC News reports. The new trial is set to begin April 2. Summer Meza

July 6, 2017

Actor Bill Cosby will face a second trial on sexual assault charges in November. Judge Steven O'Neill in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, set the retrial date for Nov. 6.

Cosby's first trial ended in a mistrial last month when the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision after six days of deliberations. Cosby is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, though dozens of women have come forward to allege Cosby drugged and assaulted them. Kimberly Alters

June 5, 2017

On Monday, Bill Cosby goes on trial in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, on charges that he drugged then sexually assaulted a college basketball manager, Andrea Constand, in 2004 at his mansion outside Philadelphia. Constand, 44, and another accuser, "Kacey," will testify at the trial, but none of the other 40 or so women who have accused Cosby of drugging and assaulting them will tell their stories, after the judge ruled that their testimony would prejudice the jury of seven men and five women, two of them black and the other 10 white, who have been bused in from Pittsburgh and sequestered.

Cosby, 79, was a beloved TV actor and comedian until a damaging deposition was unsealed in 2015 that showed he had procured quaaludes in the 1970s to give women before sex, prompting dozens of women to come forward. The trial is expected to last two weeks, and Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill has taken steps to try to avoid a media circus like the O.J. Simpson murder trial; television cameras are not allowed in the courtroom. "We've had an O.J. hangover for many years," Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson tells The Associated Press. "What you worry about as the judge is that the lawyers don't showboat, the evidence gets presented fairly, and that you have a jury that does its job and is not being thrown into the whole milieu of the trial outside the courtroom." Cosby faces up to 10 years and $25,000 for each of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Peter Weber

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