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Bill Cosby is Found Guilty of Sexual Assault

The nation has been holding its breath since Bill Cosby’s 2017 mistrial, when a jury failed to convict “America’s Dad” of sexual assault. Cosby was charged in 2015 with the 2004 assault of Andrea Costand, a former employee of Temple University. Costand stated that Cosby had given her pills in his Pennsylvania home that left her unable to fight back as he molested her. Costand was just one of about sixty women who have come forward to tell their stories over the past few years. Unfortunately, she was the only one whose case fell within the statute of limitations. Most of the women described stories of assault from the 1980’s and 1990’s. Several of these women waited outside the courthouse after the 2017 mistrial, and five testified against him during this two-week retrial.

This conviction is seen as a huge milestone for women everywhere. For all the women who came forward too late, who didn’t press charges; for all the women who didn’t speak up for fear of retaliation and embarrassment—this is a victory for them. It shows that not even “America’s Dad” is above criminal conviction. Many women who are abused or assaulted by powerful men wonder if coming forward will do anything. These women are often painted as liars and attention-seekers, and met with an equally powerful legal team who tells them there is no chance for a conviction. This time, these women won.

Cosby was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Each count is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, which means he is looking at a hefty maximum sentence. He will be sentenced sometime in the next 90 days. The judge may sentence him to prison time, probation, and order him to pay a fine.

The Issue of Bail

After the conviction, the District Attorney asked that Cosby’s $1 million bail be revoked, due to the celebrity’s connections, money, and power. He could easily flee the country and never be heard from again. At one point, Cosby stood up and yelled at the DA, saying, ‘”He doesn’t have a private plane, you asshole.” The judge did not revoke the bail, citing Cosby’s continued appearance at all hearings within the last few years. His old age was also a factor, which the judge argued made him less of a flight risk. Arrangements were made to fit Cosby with a GPS tracking device, and he was ordered to not leave his home in Pennsylvania.

Typically, after a defendant is convicted, they are placed in custody to await sentencing. A judge must have clear and convincing evidence that shows a defendant is not dangerous or a flight risk. Certain violent or drug crimes are held to a higher standard, and defendants are usually not eligible for bail after being convicted.

After sentencing, it is likely that Cosby will begin the appeal process. He will then be eligible for something called a supersedeas bond, which is a surety bond for appellants. By paying this bond, the appellant (Cosby) asks to set aside the judgment pending appeal, and must prove the appeal is in good faith and not a delay tactic.

Call Pallegar Law, P.A. for Criminal and Bail Issues

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime or is being denied bail, contact a skilled Tampa criminal defense attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. Call 813-444-3912 for your initial consultation.

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