In Hollywood, the fall from grace happens faster than you can blink; some rise back quickly but for some others that never happens. While the phenomenon is usually a result of the changing needs of the industry, for some Hollywood stalwarts, their fall is as a result of their bad decisions. Bill Cosby’s trial saw the once great man take a gigantic fall from grace. The man who was a beloved staple of American Television even during the height of overt racism in the country is now a ridicule in the eyes of many. Cosby has been one of the known faces of the sexual assault and misconduct that is prevalent in Hollywood. He was recently sentenced to three to ten years in prison for indecent assault. Here is a timeline of the trial that led to the imprisonment of former America’s Dad.
Facts About Bill Cosby’s Trial
Though the earliest alleged incident of sexual misconduct leveled against Bill Cosby happened in the mid-60s, the first case of sexual assault or misconduct against him was in 2005 by Ms. Constand.
Ms. Constand alleged that Mr. Cosby assaulted her in his home after offering her wine that was laced with three pills of Quaaludes. She reported to the state police and the district attorney at the time of Montgomery County District, Bruce L. Castor chose not to prosecute, citing insufficient evidence. She then goes ahead to sue Bill Cosby and the resulting publicity encouraged twelve other women who had alleged a similar incident to testify in support of her case.
During a deposition for Bill Cosby’s trial, the great comedian admitted to drugging her and the other women for sex. As it was a civil suit, however, the case was settled out of court with a non-disclosure agreement. Later, it is revealed that the case was settled for $3.38 million. For the next nine years, everything was silent regarding the allegations against Bill Cosby until the comedian, Hannibal Buress referred to Bill Cosby as a rapist in a comedy routine in October 2014.
The routine quickly went viral and sparked a resurgence of allegations against the famous entertainer. With his name back in the news as an alleged sexual predator, more women came out with claims and allegations against Bill Cosby. The claims made against him were incidents that spanned between 1965 and 2008 across 10 US States and a Canadian province.
While Cosby vehemently denied the claims, the fact that the allegations resurfaced in a period of increased awareness of sexual misconduct, especially in Hollywood, a variety of organizations withdrew from Cosby. He had his multiple honorary awards and titles rescinded by the various awarding institutions and organizations. The Cosby Show was also taken off the air. Unfortunately, due to the statute of limitations which states the maximum period of time after a crime has occurred that a legal proceeding can be initiated in the prosecution of it, a majority of the allegations fell outside of the statute of limitations. However, one case fell within the statute of limitations and criminal charges were filed against Bill Cosby, including numerous civil suits, which totaled eight civil suits as at November 2015.
In December 2015, specifically on Dec. 30, Cosby was arrested and charged with three counts of Class II felonies of aggravated indecent assault in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The charges were filed based on the allegations of Ms. Constand which had been reopened for trial after the initial dismiss in 2005.
The first trial began on the 5th of June 2017 after the juror selection process ended. The jury consisted of one black woman, one black man, six white men, and four white women. After days of court hearings, the trial was declared a mistrial by the judge when the jurors failed to reach a consensus after six days of deliberations. The juror vote counts at the end of the trial were 10-2 in favor of convicting Cosby on charges one (digital penetration without consent) and three (drugged without knowledge or consent) while 11-1 jurors were in favor of an acquittal for count 2 (Constant was unconscious during the alleged assault). A second trial began on March 2018 and after days of hearings and juror deliberations, Bill Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. His sentence hearing was scheduled for September 24, 2018.
Verdict and Sentencing
The long and grueling hours of Bill Cosby’s trial came to an end when he was found guilty of aggravated indecent assault on April 26, 2018, by a jury. The judge, Judge O’Neil subsequently scheduled his sentencing to begin on the 24th of September 2018. After years of prosecution and public crucifixion, Cosby was finally sentenced to three to ten years in prison on September 25, 2018.
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Is He in Jail?
Bill Cosby’s trial saw him remanded in prison after his sentencing. He was placed in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections SCI Phoenix in Skippack Township, Pennsylvania. Whilst his criminal trial is over, Bill Cosby is still facing nine civil suits from multiple women and the cases are expected to commence in the near future.