Cosby lawyer: State’s sex predator law is unconstitutional

Lula Sharp
September 25, 2018

He faces up to 30 years in prison, though state guidelines suggest a sentence of one to four years.

"He seemingly thinks that he hasn't done anything wrong".

"Being blind does not stop him from meeting people".

However, Cosby's defence attorney, Joseph P. Green, asked for a sentence of house arrest, citing Cosby's advanced age and blindness.

The Cosby case "really raised awareness of the pervasiveness of. sexual misconduct against subordinates and against women of relatively less power", said Daniel Filler, dean of Drexel University's law school. "Eighty-one-year-old blind men that are not self-sufficient are not unsafe", hit back defence lawyer Joseph Green.

One key issue for the sentencing hearing is whether Cosby will be designated a "sexually violent predator". If that happens, he will be obliged to register as a sex offender for life, instead of for a shorter timeframe decided by a judge.

If he must serve time, he could be taken into custody immediately after the judge pronounces the sentence.

Former Temple University women's basketball administrator Andrea Constand testified that Cosby knocked her out with pills, then molested her during an encounter at his home in 2004.

Prosecutors asked for five to 10 years in prison.

Law professor Aviva Orenstein told Reuters that #MeToo "may have influenced the judge's willingness to allow more witnesses".

"Mr. Cosby should not be treated differently because he is a celebrity", she said. "All I am asking for is justice as the court sees fit".

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"The behaviors are beyond their controls, so they are urged to act on it".

O'Neill will also consider whether Cosby should be classified as a sexually violent predator.

Cosby, who was found guilty in April, is the first celebrity to be convicted since the start of the #MeToo movement, the national reckoning with sexual misconduct that has brought down dozens of powerful men in entertainment, politics and other fields. She said people who commit this sort of aberrant sexual behaviour, which she described as a form of paraphilia, were likely to reoffend.

For its part, the defense had initially argued that being on the registry comes without "due process", and would preclude Cosby from spending time with his grandchildren. The five other women that testified alongside Constand, Heidi Thomas, Chelan Lasha, Janice Baker Kinney, Janice Dickinson, and Maud Lise-Lotte Lublin, will not make statements.

Andrew Wyatt spoke to reporters as he walked into a suburban Philadelphia courthouse Monday afternoon.

Cosby did not testify at the trial and has spoken publicly only infrequently since his criminal trial began. His expected ruling on Cosby's status will not impact the rest of the sentence.

Hopefully, Cosby gets appropriate punishment this time.

"When Mr. Steele's witnesses at trial made outbursts, that was excused, everybody understands, but when the defendant makes one it deserves 3 pages in a sentencing memorandum?"

His lawyers have said he will appeal the conviction, which observers say could push the case up to Pennsylvania's highest court and take several years.

Green also noted that the "paraphilic disorder" Dr Dudley applied to the former Cosby Show star had only become a possible diagnosis in the past few years.

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby leaves the Montgomery County Courthouse after his first day of sentencing hearings in his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pennsylvania, US, on September 24, 2018.

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