Guilty Verdict in Cosby Trial is a Victory for Survivors

Following years of allegations of sexual assault, Bill Cosby has been found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent sexual assault against Andrea Constand. The trial included testimony from five of Cosby’s victims, in addition to Constand. In an amicus brief filed in the case, RAINN urged the court to allow this testimony from other victims, as it would help demonstrate a pattern of predatory behavior by Cosby.

Following a hearing on RAINN’s brief and a subsequent submission by District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, Judge Steven T. O’Neill decided to allow the jury to hear from these additional victims. In Cosby’s first trial last year, which ended in a hung jury, only one victim was allowed to testify along with Constand. More than 60 women have joined Andrea Constand in accusing Cosby of sexual misconduct.

“This verdict is a victory for survivors. It takes a lot of courage to speak out against your perpetrator,” said Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of RAINN. “I hope this decision empowers survivors to speak up and seek the support and justice they deserve.”

“We appreciate the great work of the district attorney, and are grateful to all the victims who bravely came forward,” Berkowitz continued. “Judge O’Neill made a wise decision to allow testimony from some of Cosby’s other victims, which helped the jury understand that Cosby, like many rapists, is a serial predator.”

Hogan Lovells, LLP, provided pro bono counsel and worked with RAINN’s public policy team to prepare the amicus brief. RAINN was joined by End Violence Against Women International, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and the National Crime Victim Law Institute.

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