“After thoughtful and meticulous consideration of the information and evidence provided to us, we came to our unanimous verdict,” the jury said in the statement. “Not once were race or the #metoo movement ever discussed, nor did either factor into our decision, as implied in various media outlets.”
Prosecutor Kristen Feden told The Associated Press in an interview Saturday that in the tense moments before the jury convicted Cosby, she started to worry about the global implications if the #MeToo era’s first big trial went the other way.
“I felt like this verdict could dictate something more,” Feden said. “If they found him not guilty, I felt like they were feeding into every character assassination on sex crime victims.”
Cosby’s lawyers have vowed to appeal, but prosecutors said they are confident Cosby’s conviction will stand.
Two days after Cosby’s conviction, law books and papers were still strewn on a long table in the war room where prosecutors plotted their strategy: leading off with an expert to educate the jury in victim behavior, successfully fighting to call five additional accusers and fending off the defense’s allegations that Constand was a scammer framing Cosby for a big payday.
The additional accusers allowed prosecutors to uncloak the man once revered as America’s Dad as a manipulative predator who used his built-in trust to trick women into taking powerful intoxicants so he could violate them. One woman pointedly called Cosby a “serial rapist,” and another asked him through her tears, “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?”
Feden, who worked out a deal to stay as a special prosecutor after leaving for private practice, said she felt “that needed to be exposed.”
“That was the most sickening part of this all,” she said. “When people in positions of power use that power to victimize people, I find that to be beyond disgusting.”
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, as Constand has done.