Judge sentences Bill Cosby to 3 to 10 years in prison

Cosby led away in handcuffs to begin sentence immediately

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - Updated at 3:35 p.m.
  
Bill Cosby will spend the first few days of his prison sentence at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility outside Philadelphia.
  
Cosby left the suburban Philadelphia courthouse in a dark SUV after a judge sentenced the 81-year-old to three to 10 years in state prison for sexual assault.
  
A spokeswoman for the Montgomery County district attorney's office says Cosby will be held at the county jail for at least the next few days. From there, he'll be taken to SCI Phoenix, a new state prison outside Philadelphia, where staff will assess his physical, medical and security needs.
  
Cosby could end up in a long-term medical care unit.
  
Dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct during his 50-year career in entertainment. The 2004 assault on Andrea Constand was the only one to lead to criminal charges.

VIDEO: Local Rape Crisis Center worker says Cosby sentencing sending powerful message to society

Updated at 2:55 p.m.:

Bill Cosby has left a Pennsylvania courtroom in handcuffs to begin serving a three-to-10 year prison sentence for sexual assault.
  
Defense lawyers tried to keep the 81-year-old out of prison while he appeals his conviction, saying he's frail and legally blind. Judge Steven O'Neill refused their plea for Cosby to remain on house arrest, ruling Tuesday that Cosby will be locked up immediately.
  
O'Neill says Cosby could "quite possibly be a danger to the community."
  
Cosby was convicted of drugging and molesting Temple University athletics administrator Andrea Constand.
  
Dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct during his 50-year career in entertainment. The 2004 assault on Constand was the only one to lead to criminal charges.

2:25 p.m.
  
A judge has denied Bill Cosby that he's not entitled to bail while the 81-year-old comedian appeals his sexual assault conviction.
  
Judge Steven O'Neill sentenced Cosby on Tuesday to three to 10 years in state prison. His lawyers are arguing that Cosby should remain on home confinement pending appeals. O'Neill says Cosby had no right to it.
  
The judge said it's "time for justice" as he sentenced Cosby to state prison and fined him $25,000. The former "Cosby Show" star was convicted in April of drugging and molesting Temple University women's basketball administrator Andrea Constand in 2004.
  
2 p.m.

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.

O'Neill  denied Cosby bail and ordered him to 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.
  
Constand is one of about 60 women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct.

 

11:35 a.m.
  
A judge has ruled that Bill Cosby is 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.
  
Judge Steven O'Neill made the decision Tuesday as he prepares to sentence the 81-year-old comedian for drugging and molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.
  
Prosecutors are asking for five to 10 years in prison. The defense wants Cosby sent home on house arrest.
  
Cosby's lawyers had fought the "sexually violent predator" designation, arguing that Pennsylvania's sex-offender law remains unconstitutional despite several revisions.

11:15 a.m.
  
Andrea Constand says she's had to cope with years of unrelenting pain, anxiety and self-doubt after Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home in 2004.
  
Constand writes in a victim-impact statement released Tuesday that Cosby's 2004 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.

10:55 a.m.

A defense psychologist says the chances that Bill 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. A judge must decide whether to classify Cosby as a "sexually violent predator," which would make him subject to mandatory lifetime counseling and community notification. The defense is fighting the designation.

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.

The judge is expected to sentence Cosby later Tuesday.

8:30 a.m.

Bill Cosby doesn't plan to make a statement in court before he's sentenced for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman.

Cosby returned to a suburban Philadelphia courthouse Tuesday to learn his fate for the 2004 attack. Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt says the 81-year-old comedian plans to remain silent in court. Cosby didn't testify at either of his two trials.

Prosecutors are asking for a sentence of five to 10 years in prison. His attorney wants the judge to send Cosby home on house arrest, saying he's too old and frail for prison.

The only defense witness expected to testify Tuesday is a psychologist who believes Cosby is no longer a danger, given his age, and should not be branded a "sexually violent predator."

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(Original Story)

Bill Cosby faces a good chance of being sent to prison Tuesday, when a judge is expected to sentence the TV star who was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004.

Cosby, 81, will have the opportunity to speak in court before he is sentenced.

The once-beloved actor and comedian, dubbed “America’s Dad” for his role as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-ranked, 1980s-era “Cosby Show,” faces anything from probation to 10 years in prison for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, a Temple University basketball administrator, at his estate near Philadelphia. She went to police a year later, only to have a prosecutor turn down the case.

In the years since Constand first went to police in 2005, more than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, though none of those claims have led to criminal charges.

Cosby is the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to go on trial, and the first to be convicted.

It’s a reckoning that accusers and prosecutors say has been decades in the making.

“The victims cannot be un-raped. Unfortunately, all we can do is hold the perpetrator accountable,” said Gianna Constand, the trial victim’s mother, who testified Monday that her daughter’s buoyant personality was forever changed after the attack.

The hearing is set to conclude Tuesday after testimony from a defense psychologist who believes Cosby is no longer a danger, given his age, and should not be branded a “sexually violent predator.”

Defense lawyer Joseph Green Jr. urged the judge ignore the protests and activism surrounding the case, and send Cosby home on house arrest.

“The suggestion that Mr. Cosby is dangerous is not supported by anything other than the frenzy,” Green said, as demonstrators gathered outside the suburban Philadelphia courthouse.

Being labeled a sexually violent predator would make him subject to mandatory lifetime counseling and community notification of his whereabouts.

On Monday, Kristen Dudley, a psychologist for the state of Pennsylvania, testified that Cosby fits the criteria for a sexually violent predator, showing signs of a mental disorder that involves an uncontrollable urge to have nonconsensual sex with young women.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said Cosby would no doubt commit similar crimes if given the chance, warning that the former TV star seemingly gets a sexual thrill out of slipping women drugs and assaulting them.

“To say that he’s too old to do that — to say that he should get a pass, because it’s taken this long to catch up to what he’s done?” Steele said, his voice rising. “What they’re asking for is a ‘get out of jail free’ card.”

Cosby, he said, has shown repeatedly that he feels no remorse over his actions. And he said the sentence should send a message to others.

“Despite bullying tactics, despite PR teams and other folks trying to change the optics, as one lawyer for the defense put it, the bottom line is that nobody’s above the law. Nobody,” the district attorney said.

He urged a five- to 10-year prison sentence .

After testifying for several hours at two trials, the first of which ended in a hung jury, Constand spoke in court Monday for just two minutes.

“The jury heard me. Mr. Cosby heard me. Now all I am asking for is justice as the court sees fit,” said Andrea Constand, who submitted a much longer victim-impact statement that wasn’t read in court.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, which Constand and other accusers have done.

Cosby’s side didn’t call any character witnesses, and his wife of 54 years, Camille, was not in court.

Cosby became the first black actor to star in a prime-time TV show, “I Spy,” in 1965. He remained a Hollywood A-lister for much of the next half-century.

Monday’s proceedings took place as another extraordinary #MeToo drama continued to unfold on Capitol Hill, where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces allegations of sexual misconduct from more than three decades ago.

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