Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby reacts while being notified a verdict is in at the Montgomery County Courthouse in his sexual assault retrial, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 26, 2018. Mark Makela/Pool via Reuters

Bill Cosby has been found guilty of drugging and molesting a woman. The disgraced comedian, who was once called “America’s dad,” was allowed to go home on Thursday after the verdict, but he will be sentenced at a later date.

There were dozens of women who came out in the media, accusing “The Cosby Show” star of drugging and sexually assaulting or raping them, but the trial was for only one. Andrea Constand, a former college and Canadian national team basketball player, first filed a civil suit against Cosby in 2005. Cosby was charged with three second degree felony counts of aggravated indecent assault as a result of Constand’s case a decade earlier. He was found guilty of all counts on Thursday.

He was released on a US$1 million (AU$1.3 million) bail pending an appeal. District Attorney Kevin Steele asked the judge to have Cosby taken into custody immediately because he apparently own a private plane and therefore a flight risk. That’s when Cosby, who initially did not react to his verdict, reportedly yelled out, “He doesn’t have a plane, you a—hole. I’m sick of it, you a—hole.”

The judge believed that the bail would be sufficient to keep him from running. He told Cosby he should not leave his Pennsylvania home and that he would wear a GPS tracking device.

Cosby faces up to 10 years behind bars on each of the three counts, as well as a maximum fine of US$25,000 (AU$33,000) on each count. With his advanced age of 80, it could mean he would spend the rest of his life behind bars. It is also likely that he would be told to serve each sentence concurrently.

His lawyer, Tom Mesereau, hinted that they would appeal the case, telling reporters outside the Philadelphia courthouse, “The fight is not over.”

The panel that concluded he was guilty was composed of seven men and five women, who deliberated the case for 14 hours over the course of two days. Cosby’s first trial ended with a hung jury in June 2017.

The case

A criminal investigation on Constand’s allegation that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2004 was opened in January 2005 , but the District Attorney said the evidence against Cosby was insufficient. Constand then filed a civil claim in March, with 13 women as potential witness. Cosby setllted for an undisclosed amount in 2006.

In 2015, Constand filed a motion to negate the confidentiality agreement she signed in the 2005 case. The deposition in that case was released in the media, which Cosby’s legal team claimed was orchestrated by Constand. In the deposition, Cosby admitted that he had given the sedative drug Quaalude to at least one woman and other people, knowing that it was illegal to dispense it to other people.

The availability of the deposition to the public meant that plaintiffs in other cases may be allowed to use it as evidence in their case.

The DA filed the felony charges against Cosby in late 2015 as a result of the accusations made by Constand a decade earlier. It ended in mistrial in 2017, but the prosecution sought a retrial. This resulted in Thursday’s guilty verdict for Cosby.