Bill Cosby convicted of drugging and molesting a woman

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby comes out of the Courthouse after the verdict in the retrial of his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania on April 26, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 26 April 2018
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Bill Cosby convicted of drugging and molesting a woman

NORRISTOWN-PENNSILVANIA: Bill Cosby was convicted Thursday of drugging and molesting a woman in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era,
completing the spectacular late-life downfall of a comedian who broke racial barriers in Hollywood on his way to TV superstardom as America’s Dad.
Cosby, 80, could end up spending his final years in prison after a jury concluded he sexually violated Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He claimed the encounter was consensual.
Cosby stared straight ahead as the verdict was read, but moments later lashed out loudly at District Attorney Kevin Steele and called him an “a--hole” after the prosecutor asked that Cosby be immediately jailed because he might flee. Cosby denied he has an airplane and shouted, “I’m sick of him!“
The judge decided Cosby can remain free on bail while he awaits sentencing.
Shrieks erupted in the courtroom when the verdict was announced, and some of his accusers whimpered and cried. Constand remained stoic, then hugged her lawyer and members of the prosecution team.
“Justice has been done!” celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who represented some of Cosby’s accusers, said on the courthouse steps. “We are so happy that finally we can say women are believed.”
The verdict came after a two-week retrial in which prosecutors put five other women on the stand who testified that Cosby, married for 54 years, drugged and violated them, too. One of those women asked him through her tears, “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?“
The panel of seven men and five women reached a verdict after deliberating 14 hours over two days, vindicating prosecutors’ decision to retry Cosby after his first trial ended with a hung jury less than a year ago.
Cosby could get up to 10 years in prison on each of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He is likely to get less than that under state sentencing guidelines, but given his age, even a modest term could mean he will die behind bars.
Constand, 45, a former Temple women’s basketball administrator, told jurors that Cosby knocked her out with three blue pills he called “your friends” and then penetrated her with his fingers as she lay immobilized, unable to resist or say no.
It was the only criminal case to arise from a barrage of allegations from more than 60 women who said the former TV star drugged and molested them over a span of five decades.
“The time for the defendant to escape justice is over,” prosecutor Stewart Ryan said in his closing argument. “It’s finally time for the defendant to dine on the banquet of his own consequences.”
Another prosecutor, Kristen Feden, said Cosby was “nothing like the image that he played on TV” as sweater-wearing, wisdom-dispensing father of five Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show.”


Pakistani PM’s party wins less seats than expected in vote

Updated 58 min 3 sec ago
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Pakistani PM’s party wins less seats than expected in vote

  • PM Khan's candidates secured 15 seats out of 35, not as many as expected

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party didn’t win as many seats as it expected in special elections held for 35 seats that remained up for grabs after July’s parliament elections.
The party of ex-premier Nawaz Sharif won 11 seats in the national and provincial seats, out of 35 contested in Sunday’s balloting. Khan’s candidates secured 15 seats. Other small parties won the rest.
The vote doesn’t change anything but is still a setback for Khan, who in July didn’t get an outright majority but had to form a coalition government.
Under Pakistani law, candidates can run for multiple seats and if they secure more than one seat in parliament or provincial assemblies, they have to give up all but one seat. Special elections are then held for the vacated seats.