Bill Cosby sentenced to 3-10 years in state prison

Lula Sharp
September 25, 2018

"No one is above the law and no one should be treated differently or disproportionately", Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O'Neill said during the sentencing.

Prosecutors are asking for five to 10 years in prison. However, Cosby's defense attorney, Joseph P. Green, asked for a sentence of house arrest, citing Cosby's advanced age and blindness.

For his part, Cosby did not make a statement to the court.

After the sentencing, Andrew Wyatt, Cosby's spokesman, read a statement in which he said the entertainer had been subjected to "the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States". The comic once known as America's Dad faced anywhere from probation to 10 years in prison after being convicted in April in the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. Other women, who accused Cosby of assaults dating back to the 1960s, championed Ms Constand's case and supported her in court, being unable to pursue their own historic cases owing to the time passed.

Cosby was earlier declared a "sexually violent predator" under Pennsylvania law.

He says the comedian's lawyers wouldn't let him discuss certain matters, including the sexual assault that led to his conviction or his admission that he gave quaaludes to women before sex.

Cosby was also asked if he understood the terms of his sentencing, most notably that he'll now be included in the state of Pennsylvania's sex-offender registry.

Constand says her training as a professional basketball player had led her to think she could handle anything, but "life as I knew it" ended on the night that Cosby knocked her out with pills and violated her.

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He quoted from victim Andrea Constand's own statement to the court, in which she said Cosby took her "beautiful, young spirit and crushed it". ". Now, nearly 15 years later, I'm a middle aged woman who's been stuck in a holding pattern for most of her adult life, unable to heal fully or move forward".

This year's retrial occurred amid the #MeToo movement that has seen people worldwide come forward to share stories of sexual harassment and assault.

Cosby's star was recently vandalized with the words, "Serial Rapist", but the graffiti was quickly removed.

Cosby, 81, was found guilty on each of three counts of aggravated indecent assault of Toronto woman Constand, who is now 45. On Day 1 of the sentencing, the comic laughed at times as the psychologist on the stand for the state portrayed him as a sexual predator with signs of a mental disorder.

The sentence ensures that Cosby will spend no less than three years in a Pennsylvania prison before he becomes eligible for supervised release, though he could end up staying behind bars for as much as a decade.

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".

He also found success with his Saturday morning cartoon "Fat Albert", appeared in commercials for Jello-O pudding and became a public moralist, lecturing the black community about young people stealing things and wearing baggy trousers.

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