Bill Cosby faces up to 30 years in prison. These are the women whose bravery put him away.

andrea-condstand

Content warning: This post contains details of sexual assault some may find triggering.

Former comedian and television star Bill Cosby is facing up to 30 years in prison.

On Thursday, the 80-year-old was convicted on three counts of aggravated sexual assault for drugging and sexually assaulting 45-year-old Andrea Constand.

Shrieks erupted in the courtroom when the verdict was announced, AAP reports. Some of his accusers whimpered and cried. However, Constand remained stoic, before hugging her lawyer and members of the prosecution team.

The guilty verdict comes after more than 60 women accused the former Cosby Show actor of drugging and molesting them over a span of five decades.

Each of Cosby’s three convictions carry a possible sentence of 10 years. Although state sentencing guidelines indicate he could receive less than that – a state board has 90 days to make a recommendation to the judge – even a conservative term could see him die behind bars.

And while Cosby, hopefully, sits alone in a jail cell for what may be the rest of his natural life, these are the names of the women we’ll remember.

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Andrea Constand

Andrea Constand
Andrea Constand
Images: Getty.

When Andrea Constant met Cosby in 2002, she worked in the athletics department at Philadelphia's Temple University. A lesbian, she was also in a relationship with a woman at the time and not remotely interested in him romantically, PEOPLE reports.

Cosby, however, was. He testified to that fact in a 2005 deposition for a civil lawsuit Constant filed against him.

After 14 months of "nurturing their relationship" - Constand told investigators she had viewed Cosby as a mentor - Cosby invited her to his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, mansion where he gave her Benadryl which he told her was herbal medication.

As was determined by the Montgomery Court, these left her incapacitated while he "fondled her breasts, put his hand in her pants… penetrated her vagina with his fingers” and “took her right hand and placed it on his penis."

Thanks to Constand's courage as the chief accuser, more than 60 women now have justice.

Gloria Allred

Gloria Allred
Image: Getty.

"Bill Cosby, three words for you. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty."

Gloria Allred, who The New Yorker called "the most famous practising attorney in the United States", has been with Cosby's accusers from day one. Through the mistrial in 2017, and arm-in-arm outside on the courtroom steps on Thursday.

She said the verdict is the happiest she’s been about a court decision in 42 years, TIME reports.

"Justice has been done and we are very, very happy and proud of this result. We are so happy that finally can we say women are believed and not only on #MeToo, but in a court of law."

Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden

Kristen Feden
Image: Getty.

As Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden delivered her closing argument to the jury on Tuesday, Cosby laughed. An ear-to-ear grin could be seen on his face as the prosecutor spoke of his calculated assault.

Some in the crowded courtroom mightn't have heard his chuckles, the Chicago Tribune reports.

But Feden did.

"He's laughing like it's funny!" she said in booming voice, stalking toward the comic legend and extending a long, slender, accusatory forefinger, court reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia wrote.

"But there's absolutely nothing funny about stripping a woman of her capacity to consent."

Cosby simply stared back, his smile unwavering.

Janice Dickinson

Janice Dickinson
Janice Dickinson
Images: Getty.

"I hope Bill Cosby rots in prison. He deserves every bit of 30 years and more," former model Janice Dickinson told DailyMailTV on Friday after hearing the court's verdict.

"It is a feeling of absolute vindication. There’s no doubt in my mind that now Bill Cosby is a serial rapist, probably the biggest rapist in the United States history.

"I’ve been holding this in since 1982 and it’s slowly seeping out of me, the toxicity levels of emotion and catastrophic pain and nightmares for so very many years and I just bounced out of bed and was like, ‘Wow.'"

In 1982, a then-28-year-old Dickinson was invited by Cosby to Lake Tahoe, The Cut reports. He said he had 'an acting opportunity' for her. The publication reports he gave her a pill to take with a glass of wine. She woke up the next morning to Cosby climbing on top of her. She was naked. There was semen between her legs.

"I woke up the next morning after the incident with my entire life altered forever, knowing full well that Bill Cosby had raped me the previous evening," she said.

"I held this inside of my soul for years and years and years. I have been brutally and catastrophically, traumatically altered forever."

Heidi Thomas

Heidi Thomas
Heidi Thomas
Images: Getty/AAP.

"I looked at (my husband after hearing about the verdict), and I said, 'We did it. We won. We beat Goliath,'" 57-year-old music teacher Heidi Thomas told CNN on Friday.

"You get to look at that person in the face and say, 'You didn't win. I'm still here. And you're going down.' So it's incredibly empowering."

Thomas accused Cosby of sexual assaulting her in 1984 at a house outside Reno, Nevada.

Cosby had invited her there to read a script for him - the role of a drunken woman. The Cut reports he gave her a drink as a prop and told her to take a sip. When she woke up, a naked Cosby was allegedly trying to force his genitals into her mouth.

Lili Bernard

Lili Bernard
Lili Bernard
Images: Getty.

"I feel like I'm dreaming. Can you pinch me?" actress and activist Lili Bernard asked a reporter on Thursday outside the courthouse, holding out her arm.

"I feel like my faith in humanity is restored."

In a news conference, Bernard who met Cosby during her appearance on The Cosby Show in the 1990s thanked the jury and the prosecution for delivering justice.

"Last year when I was sitting in the courtroom of the first trial and the verdict was hung, I left with such a tremendous sense of of disappointment. But today this jury has shown that what the MeToo movement has (been) saying is that women are worthy of being believed."

Bernard told The Cut Cosby allegedly drugged her drink and raped her in the early 90s. The last words he spoke to her on The Cosby Show set were, "As far as I’m concerned, Bernard, you’re dead. Do you hear me? You're dead. You don’t exist."

She came froward in 2015, comforted by Allred.

"For the last 23-plus years I’ve been living with a tremendous sense of fear. Being able to relinquish that fear was freeing for me, and the only reason I was able to do that was so many other women had done it before me, and I felt safe," she said at the time.

Theirs are just a few of the important stories of Cosby's accusers. There are more names we need to remember.

Pamela Abeyta, Jewel Allison, Janice Baker-Kinney, Chelan Lasha, Donna Barrett, Barbara Bowman, Linda Brown, Autumn Burns, Sarita Butterfield, Renita Chaney Hill, Lisa Christie, “Dottye”, “Elizabeth”, Joyce Emmons, Lachele Covington, Beth Ferrier, Carla Ferrigno, Charlotte Fox, Tamara Green, Chloe Goins, Helen Gumpel, Helen Hayes, Colleen Hughes, Judy Huth, Lisa Jones, Beverly Johnson, “Kacey” aka Kelly Johnson , Linda Kirkpatrick, Cindra Ladd, Patricia Leary Steuer, Angela Leslie, Lise-Lotte Lublin, P.J. Masten, Sammie Mays, Kathrine McKee, Louisa Moritz, Donna Motsinger, Rebecca Lynn Neal, Linda Ridgeway Whitedeer, Kristina Ruehli, Therese Serignese, Margie Shapiro, Joan Tarshis, Marcella Tate, Jennifer “Kaya” Thompson, Shawn Upshaw Brown, Eden Tirl, Linda Joy Traitz, Victoria Valentino, Sharon Van Ert, Sunni Welles, Michelle Hurd, "Lisa", and Three Jane Does.

You can read their stories and see their faces in The Cut's 2015 exposé by Noreen Malone and Amanda Demmes, and here on USA Today.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault or domestic violence, please seek professional help and contact 1800RESPECT on 

Tracey Spicer joins Holly Wainwright and Rachel Corbett to deep dive on why the #metoo movement has kick-started a new way of thinking worldwide.

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