Lili Bernard, an accuser who once appeared as a guest on “The Cosby Show,” the groundbreaking 1980s sitcom that introduced an upper-middle-class black family to American viewers, let out a wail as the verdict was read. She began to cry, and court personnel escorted her from the courtroom.

“I feel like my faith in humanity is restored,” she told reporters through tears outside the courthouse.

Cosby’s attorneys said in brief remarks that they would “very strongly” appeal the verdict. Cosby’s first trial ended in a mistrial in June.

“We are very disappointed by the verdict,” Tom Mesereau, Cosby’s lead attorney, said outside the courthouse. “We don’t think Mr. Cosby’s guilty of anything, and the fight is not over.”

Steele lauded Constand and the other accusers for their bravery in standing up to Cosby over the years.

Andrea Constand, center, smiles after hearing the guilty verdict against Bill Cosby on Thursday.Mark Makela / Getty Images

“The most important person in this is Andrea Constand — 14 years later, it may be easy to forget that she was the first courageous person that stood up in public,” Steele said during a news conference. Constand stood next to the prosecutors, her hands folded in front of her, but she didn’t speak.

“Her quiet courage and her actions through this have helped victims stand up,” Steele said. “I hope and I pray that our actions have shown that we will stand up with those victims.”

Janice Baker-Kinney, who testified that Cosby gave her Quaaludes and sexually assaulted her, told MSNBC after the verdict that “the relief is overwhelming.”

“I’m shaking with relief, and I can’t stop sobbing,” she said.

Gloria Allred, a lawyer who represents several of Cosby’s accusers, praised the verdict while the women stood behind her, shoulder to shoulder, their arms around one another.

“I truly hope that his long list of victims will now be able to find some kind of peace,” she told reporters.

The decision came Thursday afternoon on the second day of deliberations. Earlier, the judge read back part of the testimony of the defense’s star witness, who said Constand once said she could frame a “high-profile person.”

The jury was also read back Cosby’s testimony in a deposition he gave in 2005 after Constand filed a civil suit against him. In it, the comedian admitted giving a woman Quaaludes to have sex with her.

Bill Cosby arrives at court for deliberations on Thursday.Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Cosby, who has repeatedly denied all the allegations against him, has said the sexual encounter with Constand was consensual. Cosby paid Constand nearly $3.4 million in 2006 to settle the civil case.

The verdict was the dramatic culmination of an 18-year case that spanned two criminal trials and multiple police investigations.

Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden portrayed Cosby as a sexual predator who used his TV image as a man of wholesome values to target women he believed he could silence. Prosecutors called five other women who alleged that Cosby also sexually assaulted them in a manner similar to the way he assaulted Constand.

“He preyed on Andrea Constand the same way he preyed on all those five women,” Feden said.

Last month, O’Neill ruled that the additional accusers could testify so the prosecution could try to establish that the assault on Constand fit a pattern or that Cosby knew what would happen when he drugged Constand.

Attorneys for Cosby asked pointed questions about the accusers’ histories of drug abuse, criminal backgrounds, personal relationships and sex lives.

Defense attorneys were especially hard on Janice Dickinson, a former supermodel.

Mesereau asked Dickinson whether she had spread false rumors about being pregnant with Sylvester Stallone’s child. She said the remark was an honest mistake.


Os textos, informações e opiniões publicados neste espaço são de total responsabilidade do(a) autor(a). Logo, não correspondem, necessariamente, ao ponto de vista do Central da Pauta.

​Os textos, informações e opiniões publicados neste espaço são de total responsabilidade do(a) autor(a). Logo, não correspondem, necessariamente, ao ponto de vista do Central da Pauta.