Bill Cosby has been convicted of sexual assault — and those who stood against him are overcome with emotion.
“Can you pinch me? I feel like I’m dreaming,” accuser Lili Bernard told reporters outside the courthouse on Thursday. “I feel like my faith in humanity is restored.”
The actress — who alleged in May 2015 that Cosby, 80, drugged and raped her while supposedly preparing her for a role in 1992 — called the news “a victory for womenhood.”
“I thank the jury so much for positioning themselves on the right side of history,” she added.
Montgomery County jurors deliberated for about 14 hours over two days before handing down the guilty verdict Thursday, convicting the Cosby Show star of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in January 2004.
Cosby was convicted on three charges, each of which carries a prison sentence of 10 years: aggravated indecent assault: penetration with lack of consent; penetration while unconscious; and penetration after administrating an intoxicant.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents 33 of Cosby’s accusers, declared, “Justice has been done.”
“We’re very very happy with this result,” she told reporters, adding that her clients had been “attacked, smeared, denigrated.”
“After all is said and done, women were finally believed, and we thank the jury so much for that,” she said. “The #Metoo movement is alive, and is well, and is living in Montgomery County, throughout this nation and throughout this world.”
Accuser Janice Baker-Kinney released her own statement on Twitter, writing, “I am overwhelmed with joy, relief and gratitude. Joy that finally, justice has been served. Relief that the years of this toxic chain of silence has been broken and we can now move forward with our heads held high as survivors and not victims. And gratitude; so much gratitude for our fierce and steadfast supporters, my fellow sister survivors, Kevin Steele and the entire District Attorney’s Office and to the men and women on this jury.”
After the verdict, previous Cosby accusers wept outside the courtroom.
It was the second time that a jury has deliberated Cosby’s fate. Last summer, another jury spent six days before they announced they were unable to come to a consensus. Judge Steven T. O’Neill ruled that they were hopelessly deadlocked and declared a mistrial.
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