During this trial, prosecutors were able to call on five additional accusers to testify.
During this trial, prosecutors were able to call on five additional accusers to testify. Bastiaan Slabbers/Getty


After a mistrial, a new trial, and a 14-hour jury deliberation, Bill Cosby has been convicted of three counts of "aggravated indecent assault" against Andrea Constand in 2004.

BuzzFeed notes that while a jury was unable to reach a verdict last year—with one juror attributing some of the blame of Constand's sexual assault to the victim herself—prosecutors were able to call on five additional accusers this year to testify in support of Constand.

But the Cosby convictions aren't just notable because of the dozens of women who have accused the comedian of drugging and raping them over the last several decades. Cosby has been convicted of crimes that, even within the world of sexual assault convictions, are rarely prosecuted.

From the New York Times:

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The three counts — penetration with lack of consent, penetration while unconscious, and penetration after administering an intoxicant — are felonies, each punishable by up to 10 years in state prison, though the sentences could be served concurrently.

In Washington State, it's notoriously difficult to prosecute incapacitated rape. A victim is rarely viewed as credible enough to testify that she was unable to consent, by nature of that victim being too incapacitated. Prosecutions, then, require witnesses to testify to the victim's level of incapacitation, which is difficult if the crime takes place away from others. It also doesn't help that date rape drugs often disappear from the system within hours, making them difficult to detect.

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