Bill Cosby gets 3 to 10 years in prison for sex assault

Sep 26, 2018, 03:33
Bill Cosby gets 3 to 10 years in prison for sex assault

Bill Cosby was sentenced to between three and 10 years in prison on Tuesday for sexually assaulting a woman, capping the once-beloved comedian's downfall from "America's Dad" to convicted felon.

That has since been eclipsed by his conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former administrator at his alma mater Temple University, in his Philadelphia-area home in 2004.

The classification means Cosby must undergo lifetime counseling and report quarterly to authorities.

At the sentencing, Judge Steven O'Neill called Cosby a "sexually violent predator".

Judge O'Neill heard arguments yesterday on whether to formally deem Cosby a "sexually violent predator" under state law.

After much debate yesterday, both the defense and prosecution came to an agreement that Cosby would only face a maximum of ten years by merging all three felony counts into one for the sake of a swift sentencing.

Cosby's attorney, Joseph P. Green, wants to see the comedian put on either probation or house arrest, arguing that he is too old to go behind bars.

Judge O'Neill also decided whether Cosby should be classified as a sexually violent predator.

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Sonia Ossorio, president of the National Organization for Women of NY, praised Constand and each of the more than 60 women who have come forward to tell their stories about Cosby.

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Outside the courthouse, Allred, who represented some of Cosby's accusers, said she's "glad the judgment day has finally come for Mr. Cosby".

Cosby, who is 81, chose not to speak in court before the sentencing.

In a blistering statement, Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said the comic was subjected to "most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States".

At his initial trial a year ago, Cosby's first jury was deadlocked.

Prosecutors also asked the court to require Cosby to cover the cost of his two trials, which added up to about $420,000.

After the judge rejected a defence request to release Cosby on bail pending an appeal, he was slapped in handcuffs, and led out of the courtroom in his shirt and braces, his tie and blazer removed. Cosby's wife, Camille, who stridently criticized the judge in the days leading up to the hearing, was not present.

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He declined to testify in court or produce any witnesses to emphasise past years of philanthropic work as mitigating circumstances in his favour.

In June 2017, Constand described how Cosby, whom she viewed as a "mentor", gave her pills that left her "frozen" and unable to stop his assault.

Steele said, "He was good at hiding this for a long time - good at suppressing this for a long time.So it's taken a long time to get there".

"I have testified, I have given you my victim impact statement", Constand said.

The decision is ultimately up to O'Neill, who oversaw Cosby's 2018 retrial, as well as his mistrial a year earlier that ended in a hung jury.

Cosby, whose estimated fortune once topped $400 million, broke barriers in the 1960s as the first black actor to star in a network show, "I Spy".

Across the television-watching world, he was revered for his signature role, affable obstetrician and father Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show", which ran from 1984-92.

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