NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) – Bill Cosby has been sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for drugging and molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home.
Judge Steven O’Neill sentenced Cosby on Tuesday, five months after his conviction in the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. The judge also denied bail and Cosby will be locked up immediately.
Prosecutors were seeking a sentence of five to 10 years in prison. The defense asked for house arrest.
The 81-year-old comedian did not make a statement in court. Cosby sat back in his chair, his head on the headrest, as the sentence was read.
The entertainer once known as “America’s Dad” was convicted in April of sexually assaulting Temple University athletics administrator Andrea Constand in 2004.
In 2017, Cosby’s first trial ended in a mistrial after a jury from Allegheny County declared itself hopelessly deadlocked.
Constand is one of about 60 women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct.
Earlier in the day, Judge O’Neill ruled Cosby was a “sexually violent predator.”
The classification means that Cosby must undergo lifetime counseling and report quarterly to authorities. His name will appear on a sex-offender registry sent to neighbors, schools and victims.
Cosby’s lawyers had fought the “sexually violent predator” designation, arguing that Pennsylvania’s sex-offender law remains unconstitutional despite several revisions.
During Tuesday’s hearing, a defense psychologist said the chances that Cosby will commit another sex offense are “extraordinarily low” because he’s old, legally blind and needs help getting around.
Psychologist Timothy Foley testified Tuesday at the 81-year-old comedian’s sentencing hearing.
Foley met with Cosby in July to conduct a risk assessment. 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. Prosecutors questioned whether Foley got a complete picture of Cosby’s alleged deviance.
Constand testified that Cosby knocked her out with pills, then molested her during an encounter at his home in 2004. A jury convicted Cosby of three felony counts.
Constand says she’s had to cope with years of unrelenting pain, anxiety and self-doubt after Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her.
Constand writes in a victim-impact statement released Tuesday that Cosby’s attack on her was just “the tip of the iceberg” for the suffering that followed.
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.
She says the Cosby team’s subsequent attacks on her character left her with “insurmountable stress and anxiety.”
Constand says she now lives alone with her two dogs, “stuck in a holding pattern” as a middle-aged woman because she has trouble trusting people.
Following the conviction, Carnegie Mellon University announced that it was revoking an honorary degree it awarded to Cosby back in May of 2007.
In a two paragraph statement given to KDKA-TV News, CMU said it has a long and unwavering commitment and it will not tolerate sexual violence of any kind. These acts, it said, are against the law and violate our core values.
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