MORRISTOWN, Pa. (CelebrityAccess) — A jury on Thursday found Bill Cosby guilty of allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman at his home in 2014. The verdict is the latest blow for Cosby, who was once one a beloved comedic actor who was often considered America’s dad for his portrayal of Dr. Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show
According to the New York Times, the jury returned on its second day of deliberation to return a guilty verdict against Mr. Cosby on three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand, who was a Temple University employee at the time.
The three counts – penetration with lack of consent, penetration while unconscious, and penetration after administering an intoxicant – are felonies that carry sentences of up to 10 years in state prison, the Times reported.
The trial was the second time for Cosby to face the charges in court after a 2016 trial ended with a hung jury. Cosby, who is now 80, had recently admitted to engaging in sexual activity with a number of partners, and conceded to providing sedatives to women as part of an effort to have sex with them, but had long maintained that the relationships were consensual – a view that many of the women have since contested.
Cosby made a similar claim about Ms. Constand, claiming that their relationship was consensual with his defense team suggesting that she was a “con artist” with financial difficulties who was attempting to cash in on her past history with Cosby.
However, Ms. Constand painted a vivid picture in testimony of a sexual assault at the hands of Cosby after he gave her pills that left her unable to move and drifting in and out of consciousness.
“I was kind of jolted awake and felt Mr. Cosby on the couch beside me, behind me, and my vagina was being penetrated quite forcefully, and I felt my breast being touched,” Ms. Constand testified. “I was limp, and I could not fight him off.”
Constand’s claims were amplified by depositions given by Cosby in a previous civil suit, in which Cosby conceded to have given women quaaludes, a powerful sedative, as a prelude to sexual intercourse.
Constand’s claims were also bolstered by testimony from five other women who claimed to have had similar experiences with Mr. Cosby, including former model Janice Dickinson, who testified Mr. Cosby assaulted her in a Lake Tahoe hotel room in 1982, after giving her a pill to help with menstrual cramps.
In addition to the guilty verdict in his criminal trial, Cosby is facing a number of lawsuits from women over defamation after he and his legal team called them liars and claiming their accusations were fabricated. The suits had largely been delayed by the criminal trial, but are likely to proceed now.
The Associated Press reported that District Attorney Kevin Steele requested that the judge revoke Cosby’s bail during the sentencing process due to his “unlimited wealth.” The request provoked a profanity laden tirade against Steele from Cosby.
“Doesn’t matter that I have a plane a**hole!” Cosby yelled at Steele, according to the AP. “I’m sick of him!” Cosby added.
The judge ruled that Cosby will remain free pending sentencing.