Former TV dad Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3-10 years in prison Tuesday for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Costand at his Pennsylvania home 14 years ago and the public expressed mixed feelings about it.
Former TV star Bill Cosby has been jailed for between three to 10 years for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman. His defense requested that he be able to serve his term on house arrest instead of prison, considering he's old and blind and a celebrity, but the judge said, in so many words: Hell no. Prison for you.
Ahead of the sentence, Judge Steven O'Neill designated Cosby a sexually violent predator, despite the defence's argument that Cosby's age and blindness mean he is not a threat.
Since Constand came forward to authorities in 2005, more than 60 women have accused Cosby with similar stories as Constand's, but none of those claims led to criminal charges.
"You were convicted of a very serious crime", O'Neill told Cosby.
On Monday, a prosecution expert said Cosby should be labeled a "sexually violent predator" because he has a mental disorder that involves urges toward nonconsenting women.
"I'm happy that the judge sentenced Bill Cosby accordingly and I'm grateful to Andrea for standing strong", she said.
Meanwhile, a defence psychologist testified Tuesday that the chances of the comedian committing another sex offence are "extraordinarily low" because he is old, legally blind and needs help getting around. Timothy P. Foley, a licensed psychologist who met with Cosby, testified for the defense on Tuesday that sex offense recidivism becomes "almost negligible" for people over the age of 70.
His career as an entertainer spanned five decades and he won numerous awards, but he was also accused of assaulting dozens of women.
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Cosntand was present in court during the sentencing hearing.
Bill Cosby has been labelled a "sexually violent predator" (AAP) Cosby smirked as he entered the court house.
The court also fined Cosby $25,000.
He faces anything from probation to 10 years in prison. 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. "So it's taken a long time to get there", District Attorney Kevin Steele said. Cosby's wife of 54 years, Camille, was not in court.
The spokesman further added: 'I'm not saying Mr Cosby is Jesus, but we know what this country has done to black men for centuries.
Cosby's sentencing comes five months after he was convicted of giving the accuser pills before he assaulted her at his Philadelphia residence. "Nothing could have prepared me for an evening of January 2004, when life as I knew it came to an abrupt halt", Constand wrote, referring to the time of the attack.
It was the second time Cosby had stood trial for the allegations, after an earlier jury failed to reach a verdict in June 2017.
Once a towering figure in late 20th century American popular culture and the first black actor to grace primetime USA television, he was a hero for decades, particularly among African Americans.
Cosby cemented his family-friendly reputation playing the affable Dr. Cliff Huxtable in the 1980s television comedy "The Cosby Show".