Bill Cosby, the man behind one of TV's most famous families and a Jell-O enthusiast, has been accused and convicted of sexual abuse after dozens of women came forward and claimed he had taken advantage of them. The American Dad denied all allegations made against him, and many people weren’t sure what happened before and after the trial. With an entire Wikipedia page devoted the Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults, it's time to set things straight of what happened with him to those of you who aren't sure what led to his downfall.
How It All Began
In 2000, a young actress named Lachele Covington, filed a police report against Cosby, claiming he had exposed himself to her, tried to touch her and tried to get her to touch him. The actress appeared on Cosby’s CBS TV show and wanted his career advice, which led him to touch her inappropriately. That was one of the first seeds that led to dozens of women accusing the veteran actor of sexual abuse, among other allegations.
The Constand Lawsuit
After Covington's allegations led nowhere, Cosby was once again accused of sexually assaulting another woman - Andrea Constand. Constand, a former Temple University employee, befriended Cosby, who's a Philadelphia alma mater and the two became close. Constand accused Cosby of making sexual advances at her, that escalated when he was at her home.
During his visit to Constand's home in 2004, she was given “three blue pills” that left her unable to speak or move. Bill Cosby then performed sexual acts on her without her consent. In 2015, Constand sued Cosby, and the two settled for $3.4 million the following year. Constand's accusations against Cosby made other women come forward, claiming that he had done the same to them, and some even accused Cosby of rape.
Nearly 60 women accused Cosby of sexual assault, and the actor did admit that he used Quaaludes and alcohol before the sexual encounters, but that they were all consensual. The earliest accusation dates back as early as December 1965, and while some of the allegations could not result in a criminal lawsuit due to the statute on limitations, others were eligible to go to civil court.
Following the accusations made by Cosby's victim, Constand's case was re-opened and investigated. In 2015, 35 women gave interviews to the New York Magazine telling their stories and causing more shock waves after revealing what Cosby had done.
Cosby was tried in 2017, and the lawsuit ended with him being cleared of the accusations made against him by Constand. During the time of the trial, the #MeToo movement started growing, and other women came forward, claiming Cosby had taken advantage of them. Prosecutors in the Cosby case decided to go for a re-trial, and with a jury of 7 man and 5 women, Cosby was found guilty after 52 hours of deliberations.
Cosby was given 30 years in prison, but his lawyers asked for an overlapping sentence, meaning the 80-year-old actor will spend a maximum of 10 years in prison for three allegations. Many believe that the #MeToo movement contributed to the success of the re-trial, even though Cosby maintained his innocence and the victim's consent.