Bill Cosby will now await the decision of the jury in a retrial of his Pennsylvania sexual assault case as the group began deliberations today (April 25). If convicted, the beleaguered entertainer could face 10 years in prison under state guidelines on three counts of indecent aggravated assault.
The case against Cosby centers on testimony from Andrea Constand, a former employee with Temple University women’s basketball team. She testified that Cosby, a powerful trustee at Temple, drugged her and sexually assaulted her when she visited his home to ask for career advice in a Philadelphia suburb in January 2004.
Cosby’s defense team has argued that their interaction was consensual. Constand is a con artist, they argued, who wanted a piece of Cosby’s fortune.
The case is the first celebrity sexual assault trial since the #MeToo movement began last fall, and as such, it represents a test of how the cultural movement will translate into a courtroom arena. In closing arguments, defense attorney Kathleen Bliss positioned Cosby’s legal team as standing up against “witch hunts, lynchings (and) McCarthyism.”
Last year, the jury in the matter was deadlocked as it couldn’t garner a unanimous decision on any of the three charges. If Cosby is convicted on each count, he could face 30 years in prison.