Bill Cosby Case Destined to Join Ranks of Most Infamous Celebrity Trials

Image: O.J. Simpson acquitted
O.J. Simpson reacts as he is found not guilty of murder at his trial in Los Angeles in October 1995.Myung J. Chun / AP

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By Alex Johnson

Bill Cosby has been ordered to face trial on a felony charge of aggravated indecent assault, a proceeding sure to join a long list of celebrity trials that transfixed the nation.

Related: Bill Cosby Free on $1 Million Bail on Sexual Assault Charge

The comedian's next court appearance will be July 20. If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in prison.Some of America's most famous personalities have faced trial by jury.

Some have won and some have lost, but they have all had one thing in common: Their lives were never the same again.

Here's a look at some of the most explosive celebrity trials in U.S. history.

O.J. Simpson

Charges: Murder. Verdict: Acquitted Oct. 3, 1995.

O.J. Simpson at his murder trial in Los Angeles in 1995.Vince Bucci / AFP/Getty Images

From the slow-speed freeway chase to the infamous glove that didn't fit, the trial of football superstar-turned-actor O.J. Simpson was one of turning points of the early Internet age.

Simpson — who parlayed smooth good looks, a deep TV-ready voice and media skills learned during thousands of interviews into a lucrative movie and broadcasting career — was stunningly accused of the June 1994 stabbing murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman, a waiter.

He failed to turn himself in to police as agreed on June 17, and Americans watched that night as Simpson and his friend Al Cowling led police on a slow pursuit in a white Ford Bronco along Los Angeles' freeways before he surrendered at his home. He went on trial Jan. 24, 1995.

Inside the Bronco

June 12, 201401:49

The trial turned on a glove found outside Brown's home. It was soaked with blood, which DNA analysis determined came from Brown, Goldman and Simpson. On June 15, defense attorney Johnnie Cochran maneuvered prosecutors into asking Simpson to put on the bloody glove — something they'd said they wouldn't do because it had been deformed from having been frozen to preserve it as evidence. The glove was clearly too small, and seeming to follow Cochran's famous mantra — "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit" — the jury found Simpson not guilty on Oct. 3.

But in February 1997, a civil jury awarded the Brown and Goldman families $33.5 million for wrongful death. In 2008, Simpson was convicted of robbing two Las Vegas sports collectible dealers — he said he was merely trying to retrieve property stolen from him; the Goldman family claimed he was desperate for money to pay the civil judgment. He remains imprisoned in Lovelock Correctional Center in Pershing County, Nevada.

Dateline NBC: O.J.: 20 Years Later

Michael Jackson

Charges: Molesting a minor, intoxicating a minor, attempted child molestation, conspiracy to hold captive. Verdict: Acquitted June 13, 2005.

Michael Jackson in concert in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in October 1993.Reuters

At his trial on 14 counts in connection with the alleged molestation of a 13-year-old boy, the biggest pop star in the world never denied sleeping in the same room with the boy, but he denied ever having behaved inappropriately with him — a crucial distinction under California law.

The jurors believed him, but the trial cemented Jackson's reputation for the bizarre: He showed up in court in pajamas and slippers. A prosecution witness testified that Jackson and young boys browsed the Web together for porn. His bedroom had its own alarm system, which would sound whenever anyone approached the door.

Similar allegations swirled around Jackson — who never returned to live at his sprawling Neverland ranch in Los Olivos, California — until he died June 25, 2009, at age 50. Even his death led to a courtroom: His personal physician, Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly having overdosed Jackson with an anesthetic.

Michael Jackson Not Guilty on All Counts

Fatty Arbuckle

Charges: Manslaughter. Verdict: Acquitted April 12, 1922.

Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle died a broken man even though it took a jury only six minutes to acquit him in the death of actress Virginia Rappe.AP

Roscoe Arbuckle, the original star of the Keystone Kops, was one of the first Hollywood actors to command a million-dollar contract and creative control over his own films.

But in September 1921, he was charged with rape and manslaughter in the death of an actress named Virginia Rappe, who died of peritonitis — abdominal bleeding — three days after they allegedly had a tryst in a San Francisco hotel. Prosecutors said Arbuckle's 266-pound bulk crushed her.

Biographers and film historians agree that it was a bum rap, and after two mistrials, with the nation's newspapers and newsreel cameras hanging on every development, Arbuckle was acquitted after just six minutes of deliberation by a jury that took the trouble to write him a letter of apology.

But the damage was irreparable. Arbuckle — once the biggest star in Hollywood — never got another important film role. He got by by directing minor films under an assumed name and was dead by 1932.

A Hollywood Sex Scandal? We've Been Here Before

Phil Spector

Charges: Second-degree murder. Verdict: Convicted April 13, 2009.

Phil Spector in court in Alhambra, California, in February 2004.Getty Images

The wild-haired rock entrepreneur — who produced such acts as the Beatles, the Ronettes, Cher, the Ramones and Ike and Tina Turner — went on trial March 19, 2007, in the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson.

Spector hired and fired at least three sets of attorneys, and a hung jury resulted in a mistrial six months later. He was convicted at a retrial April 13, 2009, and he remains in California State Prison in Folsom.

Phil Spector Found Guilty of Second-Degree Murder

Robert Blake

Charges: Murder, solicitation of murder. Verdict: Acquitted March 16, 2005.

Robert Blake awaits the jury's verdict in a civil wrongful death case in Los Angeles in November 2005.AP

In a case with eerie echoes of the prosecution of O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake — forever immortalized as Mickey of "The Little Rascals" and as TV's tough-talking cop Tony Baretta — was acquitted in the 2001 shooting death of his wife of six months, Bonnie Lee Bakley — but was found liable anyway by a civil jury.

No eyewitnesses or solid physical evidence linked Blake to the shooting, and Blake's attorneys poked big holes in the testimony of two stunt men who claimed he'd hired them to kill Bakley. But in a civil case brought by Bakley's children, he was found to have been responsible for his wife's death on Nov. 8, 2005, and he was ordered to pay $30 million, which was cut in half on appeal.

Jury Finds Robert Blake Not Guilty

Lenny Bruce

Charges: Obscenity. Verdict: Convicted Nov. 4, 1964; posthumously pardoned.

Lenny Bruce at Idlewild Airport in New York in April 1963.AP

While his material might seem tame today, standup comic Lenny Bruce antagonized parents, pastors and politicians with his observational humor about sex, language and race in the 1950s and the 1960s, leading to numerous arrests and a few convictions for obscenity.

On April 3, 1964, he was arrested at Greenwich Village's Café Au Go Go on a grand jury indictment on three counts of obscenity that could contribute "to the corruption of the morals of youth and others."

A three-judge panel convicted Bruce eight months later, sentencing him to four months in jail. While free on appeal, he died Aug. 3, 1966, of a morphine overdose.

Bruce's death ended his involvement in the legal process — but it didn't finish the story. His co-defendant, Café Au Go Go co-owner Howard Solomon, continued to appeal, finally winning a reversal in 1970 in a decision seen as cementing artists' right to freely express their visions. New York Gov. George Pataki posthumously pardoned Bruce in December 2003.

New York Governor Pardons Lenny Bruce

Snoop Dogg

Charge: Murder, conspiracy to commit assault. Verdict: Acquitted Feb. 21, 1996.

Snoop Dogg during a taping of MTV's 'Total Request Live' in New York. in March 2008.Jason DeCrow / AP

Today, Calvin Broadus Jr. might be regarded as a music pioneer and occasionally goofy pot entrepreneur, but back in the day, he was Snoop Doggy Dogg — convicted drug felon, newly minted multi-platinum gangsta rap sensation and a thumb in the eye to authority figures everywhere.

His meteoric debut album, "Doggystyle," was still in production in August 1993 when he was arrested and charged with the murder of Phillip Woldermariam because he was allegedly driving the getaway car for the gunman, McKinley Lee — Snoop's bodyguard. (Lee was acquitted on the ground of self-defense in a trial covered wall to wall by MTV.)

Snoop has regularly been arrested since then on various weapons and drug charges, but never in connection with anything as serious as the 1993 killing — which led to one of TV's most dramatic moments: Snoop's appearance at the 1994 MTV Music Video Awards, where he calculatedly performed "Murder Was the Case (That They Gave Me)," ending the performance with the words "I'm innocent."

Aaron Hernandez

Charge: Murder. Verdict: Convicted April 15, 2015.

Aaron Hernandez during his murder trial in Fall River, Massachusetts, in March.AP

Aaron Hernandez had it all as a Pro Bowl tight end with a $40 million contract for the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots. But in August 2013, a grand jury indicted him in the shooting death two months earlier of Odin Lloyd, a semipro football player who was dating his fiancée's sister. No clear motive was ever submitted to the jury, and the murder weapon was never recovered, but surveillance video at Hernandez's home shortly before the shooting showed him holding what appeared to be a gun.

Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He remains incarcerated at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts. And his legal troubles are by no means over: He's also under indictment on murder charges in the July 16, 2012, killings in Boston of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, and he's charged with witness intimidation in the 2013 shooting of a friend, Alexander Bradley, in Miami.

Former NFL Star Convicted of First-Degree Murder