AILSA CHANG, HOST:
Comedian and entertainer Bill Cosby has been convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
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GLORIA ALLRED: Bill Cosby, three words for you - guilty, guilty, guilty.
CHANG: That was attorney Gloria Allred, who represents some of Cosby's accusers. It was a Pennsylvania jury who found Cosby guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in 2004. More than 60 other women have also accused Cosby of sexual misconduct. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele spoke to reporters after the verdict was read.
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KEVIN STEELE: What was revealed through this investigation was a man who had spent decades preying on women that he drugged and sexually assaulted and a man who had evaded this moment here today for far too long.
CHANG: This was Cosby's second trial on these charges. The first last summer ended with a deadlocked jury. Bobby Allyn from member station WHYY covered both trials, and he joins us now from the courthouse outside Philadelphia. Welcome.
BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.
CHANG: So can you tell us what was it like in the courtroom when the verdict was read?
ALLYN: So right before the verdict was read, reporters got word, and you kind of knew just by looking at the steps to the courtroom because there was a mass rush to the courtroom. I mean, it was - throughout the trial, it's been maybe a quarter full. When this was announced, it was packed to the gills. So you get in there. It's really, really, really packed.
ALLYN: You know, lawyers are walking around, whispering to each other. Finally the jury says, guilty on all three counts. And I look immediately at Andrea Constand, Cosby's main accuser, and she is stony faced, just looking straight ahead. Cosby similarly has not much of an expression. But then you hear this high-pitched piercing cry, and it was from one of Cosby's other accusers, Lili Bernard. And she was just so overcome with emotion that sheriff's deputies let her outside. And you could still hear her shrieks from inside the courtroom.
CHANG: What were some of the pivotal moments in this trial? What stood out to you, as someone who's been watching this case for years now?
ALLYN: What's really been significant in this trial is the additional five women who confronted Bill Cosby for the first time in a criminal courtroom. Now, as you noted, there is more than 60 women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual misconduct, but only one has gone to criminal trial - Andrea Constand.
Last time, one additional woman was able to take the stand. This time, there were five. So that gave the prosecution sort of more ammo this time around that they were able to say not only was one woman drugged and sexually assaulted by this man, but here are the harrowing stories of five others. And those moments were very dramatic.
At one point, an accuser locked eyes with Bill Cosby from the witness stand and said, Bill Cosby, you remember this, don't you? Another accuser said, I'm here because I want to convict a serial rapist. Those were her words from the witness stand. So I think the additional five women really played a very critical role this time around.
CHANG: What other differences were there between this second trial and the first trial?
ALLYN: One other big differences is the defense team and the strategy. Tom Mesereau, Michael Jackson's former attorney, led the defense this time around, and his main argument was the main accuser is a so-called con artist who only wanted money from Cosby all along. And he pointed as evidence a $3.4 million civil settlement that Cosby paid out to her a year after the alleged assault. So they were trying to frame her as a desperate person who was always after Cosby's money. And that last time, the money amount of the settlement never came out at all.
So it's that in addition to how aggressive the defense team was. I mean, it's been described as a kind of scorched-earth kind of line of attack - I mean, really, really shattering, trying to shatter the credibility of the accusers, going after the judge at one point, trying to get the judge kicked off the case. I mean, they really went all out to be really, extremely aggressive. And some legal observers said they kind of had to in the #MeToo era.
CHANG: And Cosby's lawyers have already announced that they will be appealing.
ALLYN: That's correct. Cosby's lawyer's said quote, "the fight is not over." They plan to appeal very quickly. I just asked Kevin Steele, the district attorney, whether he's ready for an appeal. And he pointed at his assistants and said, you know, we're ready for it. We're ready to stand by these guilty convictions.
CHANG: All right, that's Bobby Allyn from WHYY. Thank you very much.
ALLYN: Hey, thanks for having me.
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