Bill Cosby found guilty in sexual assault trial

Photo: AFP

Comedian Bill Cosby has been found guilty on three charges of sexual assault after a trial in a Pennsylvania court.

Cosby, 80, was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a then-friend, Andrea Constand, at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004.

Cosby, best known as the lovable father from the 1980s TV hit The Cosby Show, faces up to 10 years in prison for each of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault of Ms Constand, who is now 45.

A former adminstrator for the women’s basketball team at Temple University, Cosby’s alma mater, Ms Constand is one of about 50 women who have accused him of sexual assault.

All of the other allegations are believed to be too old to be prosecuted. Cosby has said any sexual encounters were consensual.

The unanimous decision by the seven-man, five-woman jury came less than a year after a different jury deadlocked in his first trial on the same charges, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial. Prosecutors decided to retry him.

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The first trial ended just before a flood of sexual assault and harassment accusations against rich and powerful men in media, entertainment and politics gave rise to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Those high-profile revelations have encouraged women in all walks of life to go public with personal stories of abuse, in some cases after years of silence.

– Reuters