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Bill Cosby convicted of sexual assault

The jury in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial has reached a verdict: guilty on all counts. (AP/Matt Rourke) The jury in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial has reached a verdict: guilty on all counts. (AP/Matt Rourke)

NORRISTOWN, PA (RNN) – The jury came back with guilty verdicts on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault Thursday in the trial of Bill Cosby. 

Cosby, 80, could face up to a 30-year prison sentence. Other women who said Cosby sexually assaulted them left the courtroom in tears immediately after the verdict was announced.

Andrea Constand, the woman at the center of the charges, hugged loved ones as she exited the courthouse. Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents more than 30 of the Cosby accusers, spoke as the women stood by outside the courthouse.

"Bill Cosby, three words for you: guilty, guilty, guilt," Allred said, one time for each guilty verdict.

"Women are believed, and not only on 'MeToo' but in a court of law, where they were under oath, where they testified truthfully, where they were smeared, where there were attempts to discredit them," Allred said. "When all is said and done, women were finally believed."

"It is a victory for all sexual assault survivors," Cosby accuser Lili Bernard said. "I feel like I’m dreaming. I feel live my faith in humanity is restored."

Cosby attorney Tom Mesereau promised, "The fight is not over," as he left the courthouse with his client. "We are very disappointed by the verdict. We don’t believe Mr. Cosby is guilty of anything."

Cosby verbally lashed out at the prosecutor inside the courtroom. He reportedly responded to the prosecutor's request to revoke bail, saying Cosby has a private plane.

"He doesn't have a plane, you a--hole," Cosby said, according to multiple reporters inside.

The judge ruled Cosby was free to go home while the case moved to an appeals court. He is not allowed to leave the state of Pennsylvania. 

A jury of seven men and five women deliberated for around 14 hours over two days in the famed comedian’s retrial. The first ended in a mistrial last year when jurors couldn't reach a verdict, but the second comes on the heels of the #MeToo movement that has raised awareness on predatory practices by power players in Hollywood and other industries.

"We’re finally in a place to say that justice was done," Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said. "It was the right thing to do."

Cosby’s defense team had rested its case Monday. Defense attorneys and prosecutors delivered their closing arguments Tuesday.

The charges stemmed from the allegations of Constand, a former Temple University women's basketball administrator who said Cosby drugged her with three pills and assaulted her at his home in January 2004.

Cosby has claimed he gave Constand 1.5 tablets of Benadryl to help her relax. He also said the sexual encounter was consensual.

Cosby didn’t take the stand in his retrial, just as he hadn’t in his first trial. Jurors, however, did hear depositions Cosby gave in 2005 and 2006 as part of a civil suit Constand filed against him. In the recordings, Cosby admitted he gave quaaludes to women before having sex with them in the 1970s.

The jury resumed deliberations Thursday by re-examining testimony from a defense witness who said Constand once talked about framing a prominent person for money.

His retrial began April 9. In two weeks of testimony, jurors listened to Constand and five other women accusing Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them. Among the accusers was model and reality TV star Janice Dickinson, who testified that Cosby drugged and assaulted her in 1982.

Jurors also learned that Cosby had reached a settlement with Constand of $3.4 million.

The defense team pointed to the settlement as evidence that Constand was a con artist who fabricated her accusations for a big payday, in their attempt to counter prosecutors’ portrayal of Cosby as a serial predator.

The defense and prosecution spent five and a half hours delivering their closing arguments Tuesday. The defense team continued its line of attack on Cosby's accusers, saying they fabricated their stories for money and fame. Defense attorney Tom Mesereau called Constand a "pathological liar."

Prosecutors hit back by calling Cosby a con artist, and telling the jury, "He is nothing like the image that he played on TV."

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