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UPDATE: Cosby Convicted Of Sexual Assault, Faces Spending Final years In Prison

A jury outside Philadelphia convicted the “Cosby Show” star of three counts of aggravated indecent assault on Thursday.

Cosby could get up to 10 years in prison on each of the counts.

 

The Latest on Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial (all times local):

Cosby’s alma mater to reconsider honorary degree

5:30 p.m.

Bill Cosby’s alma mater says it will reconsider an honorary degree awarded to the comedian more than two decades ago.

Temple University in Philadelphia made the announcement Thursday after a jury found Cosby guilty of drugging and molesting a Temple employee in 2004.

A school spokesman says the verdict “provides additional facts for the university to consider” with respect to the honorary degree.

Cosby received his bachelor’s from Temple and served on its board of trustees for decades before resigning in 2014. He received the honorary degree in 1991.

Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick O’Connor says he will recuse himself from discussions on the honorary degree. O’Connor represented Cosby in 2005 when he first faced allegations of sexual assault.

Dozens of other colleges have already revoked honors given to Cosby.

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3:55 p.m.

A prosecutor says Bill Cosby showed his true colors when he went on an expletive-laced tirade after his conviction on sexual assault charges.

Cosby called District Attorney Kevin Steele an “a–hole” in court after Steele asked the judge to revoke the 80-year-old comedian’s bail and send him to jail. Cosby remains free.

Steele tells reporters Thursday the outburst showed that Cosby’s good-guy persona was just an act, and “we got to see who he really was.”

Cosby was convicted of drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.

Constand’s lawyer, Dolores Troiani, thanked prosecutors and investigators for their diligence and praised Constand for her courage. She says, “Although justice was delayed, it was not denied.”

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3:35 p.m.

A TV network says it is yanking all reruns of “The Cosby Show” after Bill Cosby’s conviction on sexual assault charges.

Bounce TV said Thursday it is pulling the show from its schedule.

“The Cosby Show” aired on the network as recently as Thursday morning.

Atlanta-based Bounce, which caters to black viewers, is available in more than 99 million homes across the United States. It airs a mix of reruns and original series like “Saints & Sinners.”

Cosby was convicted on Thursday of drugging and molesting a woman at his home outside Philadelphia in 2004.

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3:25 p.m.

A prosecutor says the jury that convicted Bill Cosby of sexual assault has delivered justice to the 80-year-old comedian’s chief accuser.

District Attorney Kevin Steele praised Andrea Constand as the “first courageous person” to go public with her allegations that Cosby drugged and molested her.

Cosby was convicted Thursday. His lawyer promised to appeal.

Some 60 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual misconduct going back five decades. Five other accusers testified against him at the trial.

Steele says Cosby was “a man who had evaded this moment for far too long.”

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2:50 p.m.

Bill Cosby’s lawyer says the “fight is not over” after the 80-year-old comedian’s conviction on sexual assault charges.

Tom Mesereau spoke Thursday outside the suburban Philadelphia courthouse where a jury found that Cosby drugged and molested a woman at his home in 2004.

Mesereau says Cosby will appeal his conviction on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Each count carries a maximum of 10 years in prison. He’ll be sentenced in 60 to 90 days.

Cosby said nothing to reporters but acknowledged the crowd on the courthouse steps, then gave a thumbs-up as his car pulled away.

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2:35 p.m.

A lawyer for some of Bill Cosby’s accusers says “justice has been done” after the comedian’s conviction on sexual assault charges.

Gloria Allred represents three of the five additional accusers who testified that Cosby drugged and molested them. Cosby’s lawyers painted the women as home-wreckers and liars who made up their allegations in a bid for money and fame.

Allred spoke Thursday outside the suburban Philadelphia courthouse where Cosby was convicted. She says her clients are grateful to the jury for seeing past “his defense attorney’s lies.”

Cosby accuser Janice Baker-Kinney, who alleges he drugged and raped her in 1982, says in a statement she’s relieved “this toxic chain of silence has been broken” and says the women can move forward “with heads held high.”

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2:10 p.m.

Bill Cosby is lashing out at prosecutors after a jury convicted him of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Cosby stood up and erupted after jurors left the courtroom. He used an expletive to refer to District Attorney Kevin Steele, who was arguing to revoke Cosby’s bail. Cosby shouted, “I’m sick of him!”

The judge ruled that Cosby will remain free pending sentencing.

Cosby was convicted Thursday of drugging and molesting a woman 14 years ago.

The 80-year-old entertainer stared straight ahead as the verdict was read. His chief accuser, Andrea Constand, remained stoic. Shrieks erupted in the courtroom and some of his other accusers whimpered and cried.

Judge Steven O’Neill told the panel of seven men and five women that it was “an extraordinarily difficult case.” He says the jurors “sacrificed in the service of justice.”

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Bill Cosby was convicted Thursday of drugging and molesting a woman in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era, completing the spectacular late-life downfall of a comedian who broke racial barriers in Hollywood on his way to TV superstardom as America’s Dad.

Cosby, 80, could end up spending his final years in prison after a jury concluded he sexually violated Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He claimed the encounter was consensual.

The verdict came after a two-week retrial in which prosecutors put five other women on the stand who testified that Cosby, married for 54 years, drugged and violated them, too. One of those women asked him through her tears, “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?”

The panel of seven men and five women reached a verdict after deliberating 14 hours over two days, vindicating prosecutors’ decision to retry Cosby after his first trial ended with a hung jury less than a year ago.

Cosby could get up to 10 years in prison on each of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He is likely to get less than that under state sentencing guidelines, but given his age, even a modest term could mean he will die behind bars.

Constand, 45, a former Temple women’s basketball administrator, told jurors that Cosby knocked her out with three blue pills he called “your friends” and then penetrated her with his fingers as she lay immobilized, unable to resist or say no.

It was the only criminal case to arise from a barrage of allegations from more than 60 women who said the former TV star drugged and molested them over a span of five decades.

“The time for the defendant to escape justice is over,” prosecutor Stewart Ryan said in his closing argument. “It’s finally time for the defendant to dine on the banquet of his own consequences.”

Another prosecutor, Kristen Feden, said Cosby was “nothing like the image that he played on TV” as sweater-wearing, wisdom-dispensing father of five Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show.”

Cosby’s retrial took place against the backdrop of #MeToo, the movement against sexual misconduct that has taken down powerful men in rapid succession, among them Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey and Sen. Al Franken.

The jurors all indicated they were aware of #MeToo but said before the trial they could remain impartial. Cosby’s lawyers slammed #MeToo, calling Cosby its victim and likening it to a witch hunt or a lynching.

After failing to win a conviction last year, prosecutors had more courtroom weapons at their disposal for the retrial. The other accusers’ testimony helped move the case beyond a he-said, she-said, allowing prosecutors to argue that Cosby was a menace to women long before he met Constand. Only one other accuser was permitted to testify at Cosby’s first trial.

Cosby’s new defense team, led by Michael Jackson lawyer Tom Mesereau, launched a highly aggressive attack on Constand and the other women.

Their star witness, a longtime Temple employee, testified that Constand once spoke of setting up a prominent person and suing. Constand sued Cosby after prosecutors initially declined to file charges, settling with him for nearly $3.4 million over a decade ago.

“You’re dealing with a pathological liar,” Mesereau told the jury.

His colleague on the defense team, Katheen Bliss, derided the other accusers as home-wreckers and suggested they made up their stories in a bid for money and fame.

But Cosby himself had long ago confirmed sordid revelations about drugs and extramarital sex.

In a deposition he gave over a decade ago as part of Constand’s lawsuit, Cosby acknowledged he had obtained quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with, “the same as a person would say, ‘Have a drink.'” The sedative was a popular party drug before the U.S. banned it more than 30 years ago.

Cosby also acknowledged giving pills to Constand before their sexual encounter. But he identified them as the over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine Benadryl and insisted they were meant to help her relax.

The entertainer broke racial barriers as the first black actor to star in a network show, “I Spy,” in the 1960s. He created the top-ranked “Cosby Show” two decades later. He also found success with his “Fat Albert” animated TV show and served as pitchman for Jello-O pudding.

Later in his career, he attracted controversy for lecturing about social dysfunction in poor black neighborhoods, railing against young people stealing things and wearing baggy pants.

It was Cosby’s reputation as a public moralist that prompted a federal judge, acting in response to a request from The Associated Press, to unseal portions of the deposition.

Its release helped destroy the “Cosby Show” star’s career and good-guy image. It also prompted authorities to reopen the criminal investigation, and he was charged in late 2015.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission. Constand has done so.

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