Criminal Justice

Bill Cosby is found guilty of sexual assault in retrial with additional witnesses

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Bill Cosby/Shutterstock

Bill Cosby has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a Temple University employee at his home in 2004.

Jurors in Norristown, Pennsylvania, found Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault on Thursday, report the New York Times and the Washington Post.

It was the second trial for the 80-year-old comedian. The first ended in a mistrial last June after jurors deadlocked.

Accuser Andrea Constand had claimed that Cosby sexually assaulted her after giving her pills, supposedly to help her relax. The defense had argued the incident was consensual.

According to the Washington Post, Cosby watched the trial proceedings “with an air of disdain, often rocking in his chair, holding his chin high.” On the final day before the case went to the jury, “Cosby laughed and smirked at the defense table, then in an extraordinary moment of courtroom drama engaged in an uncomfortable stare-down” with one of the prosecutors, according to the newspaper.

Judge Steven O’Neill oversaw both trials. In the retrial, O’Neill allowed five women to testify about a pattern of misconduct by Cosby. Only one woman was allowed to testify about prior conduct in the first trial.

One of the women who testified for the prosecution in the new trial was model Janice Dickinson. She testified that Cosby invited her to Lake Tahoe to discuss her career in 1982, then gave her a blue pill and raped her in his hotel room.

O’Neill permitted the defense to present testimony from Temple economic adviser Marguerite “Margo” Jackson, who said Constand once told her she could make money by falsely claiming she had been molested by a prominent person. Jackson was not allowed to testify in the first trial after Constand said she didn’t know Jackson. In the second trial, Constand said the conversation didn’t take place.

O’Neill also allowed evidence about Cosby’s confidential civil settlement with Constand. Cosby paid her $3.38 million in 2006.

Cosby’s lead lawyer in the new trial was Tom Mesereau Jr., who had helped win an acquittal for Michael Jackson in his 2005 child molestation trial.

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