After less than two days of deliberations, a jury of seven men and five women found comedian and actor Bill Cosby guilty of all charges in his sexual assault retrial in Montgomery County, just outside of Philadelphia. Cosby was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, and now faces a fine of up to $25,000 and a maximum jail sentence of 10 years on each count.
Although the Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by over 50 women, this case in particular centered on Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who said Cosby drugged and raped her at his Philadelphia area home in 2004. A civil suit was settled in 2005 for a then-undisclosed amount of money, however Cosby was eventually charged with a crime when his deposition in the case was unsealed by a judge in 2015. The retrial jury was informed with the knowledge that Cosby paid Constand $3.3 million in that civil suit, and that he admitted to drugging and assaulting her and other women during the aforementioned deposition.
In addition to these and other new revelations not heard during the first trial in 2017, the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements undoubtedly played a huge part in the result. As the fate of Harvey Weinstein looms while the NYPD investigates sexual assault charges, Cosby’s trial was the first big celebrity trial since the reckoning.
After the verdict was read, the courthouse was an emotional scene as several of Cosby’s victims ran from the courtroom and broke into tears, embracing one another. There was a similar sentiment on Twitter after the news broke, as the ruling seems particularly symbolic, in that society is simply no longer going to put up with this behavior from men in positions of power anymore.
But as momentous as this day is, there are reminders that we still have far to go: