Web Desk(April 27, 2018): In a verdict that seemed destined to stand as a major milestone in the #MeToo movement against sexual assault, the once beloved actor and comedian Bill Cosby was convicted by a Pennsylvania jury on Thursday of drugging and molesting an acquaintance in 2004. US TV.
The jury announced its verdict after fewer than two days of deliberation. Cosby, 80, faces a possible maximum prison sentence of 15 to 30 years.
Cosby stood up and erupted after jurors left the courtroom, the Associated Press reported. He used an expletive to refer to district attorney Kevin Steele, who was arguing to revoke Cosby’s bail, and shouted: “I’m sick of him!”
The verdict came as vindication for dozens of women who have publicly accused Cosby of sexual abuse, harassment or attempted abuse.
A trial on the same charges last summer ended in a mistrial with a hung jury.
A request by prosecutors to revoke Cosby’s bail was denied. The court ordered Cosby to remain living in Montgomery county until his sentencing.
Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former basketball player who was 30 years old at the time of the alleged incident. Cosby said the two had a consensual relationship.
His lead defense lawyer, Thomas Mesereau Jr, vowed to appeal the verdict in remarks outside the courthouse. “We are very disappointed by the verdict. We don’t think Mr Cosby is guilty of anything, and the fight is not over,” Mesereau said.
Five women in addition to Constand testified for the prosecution at the trial that Cosby had assaulted them. Cosby did not testify in his own defense.The five women joined a news conference outside the courthouse with lawyer Gloria Allred, who represented many Cosby accusers.
“We are so happy that finally we can say, women are believed, and not only in a hashtag ‘#MeToo’, but also in a court of law,” Allred said. “After all is said and done, women were finally believed, and we thank the jury for that.
Constand and Cosby met while she was the director for the women’s basketball team at Temple, Cosby’s Philadelphia alma mater. The pair “developed what [Constand] believed to be a sincere friendship,” and Constand eventually looked to the older comedian as a mentor, according to court documents.
Constand, now 45, said Cosby made sexual advances toward her multiple times, and she turned him down. But on one specific visit to his home in 2004, Cosby gave her “three blue pills” that blurred her vision and made her feel as though she was “in and out” [of consciousness], according to court documents.
While more than 60 women have come forward over the years to accuse the man once affectionately known as “America’s Dad” of sexual misconduct, Constand’s allegations are the only ones that brought a criminal case against Cosby. Many of the other women’s accusations fall outside of the statute of limitations.
#Metoo Movement Reached Pakistan Few Days Back
The #Metoo movement reaches Pakistan last week, singer and actress Meesha Shafi alleged Ali Zafar sexually harassed her on more than one occasion. The singer took to Twitter to speak up about her experience stating “my conscience does not allow me to be silent anymore.”
This is the first incident of a Pakistani celebrity alleging a colleague harassed her.In her statement posted on Twitter, the singer-cum-actor wrote, “As a woman, a public figure and a mother, I have always felt strongly about using my voice to encourage and support our youth who look up to me especially girls, who dream of carving their own path in Pakistan.”
However, Ali Zafar in his response categorically denied “any and all claims of harassment” lodged against him and has filed a suit against her worth 1 Crore while Meesha has also hired the lawyer.