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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Bill Cosby is found guilty of three counts of sexual abuse

Por Nina

US actor Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually abusing a woman more than a decade ago. Cosby, 80, is the first celebrity convicted of this crime in the #MeToo social movement era. His sentence closes the spectacular fall of grace of a comedian who broke racial barriers in Hollywood on his way to television stardom as "the daddy" of the United States.

Cosby could face up to 30 years in prison if he receives the maximum penalty for the three counts of which he was found guilty, which would mean he could spend his last years in prison. For his part, Bill Cosby's defense attorney said the "fight is not over" and that they plan to appeal the ruling. During the trial, Cosby said the relationship with Temple University employee Andrea Constand at her home in suburban Philadelphia in 2004 was consensual. Cosby heard the verdict stoically, but moments later he lashed out strongly against prosecutor Kevin Steele and insulted him after the prosecutor asked Cosby to be imprisoned immediately because he could flee.

The judge decided that Cosby can remain on bail while awaiting sentencing. The verdict came after a new two-week trial in which prosecutors introduced five other women on the stand who testified that Cosby, married for 54 years, drugged them and raped them. One of those women asked him in tears: "Do you remember, right, Mr. Cosby?" The panel of seven men and five women reached a verdict after deliberating 14 hours during two days, vindicating the decision of the prosecutors to re-judge Cosby, after his first trial ended with the jury stuck without being able to reach a verdict less than a year ago.

Constand, 45, a former administrator of the Temple women's basketball team, told the jury that Cosby drugged her with three blue pills she called "your friends" and then penetrated her with her fingers as she lay immobilized, unable to resist or say no. This was the only criminal case that arose from a barrage of accusations from more than 60 women who said that the former television star had drugged and abused them during a period of five decades. After the verdict, the district attorney's eyes filled with tears when he praised Constand for what he said it was her courage to denounce by putting her face.

While Constand stood silently behind him in a bright white blazer, Steele apologized to her for a previous decision by the District Attorney in 2005, who decided not to indict Cosby. Steele said that Cosby "was a man who had evaded this moment for too long. He used his fame, used his wealth, used his network of supporters to help him hide his crimes," said the district attorney. "Now, we really know today who was really behind that act, who was the real Bill Cosby."