Friday, 19 October, 2018

Bill Cosby gets 3 to 10 years in prison for sex assault

Bill Cosby deemed a sexually violent predator, judge rules Bill Cosby a 'sexually violent predator', court hears
Michele Schwartz | 26 September, 2018, 18:29

Though some 60 women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault-specifically of drugging and raping them-none of those accusations has resulted in prison time for Cosby, until today, when he was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison for the assault of Andrea Constand in 2004.

Though his three charges each carry a maximum possible sentence of 10 years, O'Neill said they were merged into one because they're from the same incident. He remained seated in the courtroom, chatting quietly with his lawyers and two friends during a recess while Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O'Neill considers the issue of bail. And during the two-day hearing, a psychologist for the state argued that Cosby would likely re-offend if given the opportunity. "The day has come, the time has come".

Gloria Allred, who represents several women accusing Cosby of sexual assault, praised the sentence.

Cosby's wife, Camille, was not present for the sentencing and Bill Cosby did not testify.

Under Pennsylvania law, Cosby will have to serve the full minimum of three years before he would be eligible for parole.

He is the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to be sent to prison. - Alyssa Milano, who posted video on Twitter of Cosby being led away in handcuffs.

On Tuesday, the downfall of Bill Cosby was complete.

Cosby's defense said earlier they plan to appeal his conviction.

The first African American actor to grace primetime U.S. television and the man who personified upper-middle-class black family bliss on television is now a frail sex offender headed to a state prison.

He also noted victim Andrea Constand's own statement to the court, in which she said Cosby took her "beautiful, young spirit and crushed it".

A defense lawyer had sought house arrest for Cosby, citing his age and blindness.

"Who gets the last laugh, pal?".

"I wanted 30 years but I'm very happy to know that Mr Cosby will do time in prison", said Chelan Lasha, one of his accusers who testified at trial. Courthouse witnesses say Cosby emptied his pockets and removed his tie before being taken into custody. 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.

Cosby, 81, has also been categorised as a sexually violent predator, meaning he must undergo counselling for life and be listed on the sex offender registry.

The sentence was delivered after Cosby had been ruled a "sexually violent predator".

In an impact statement released yesterday, Ms Constand wrote that she stopped eating, sleeping and socialising in the wake of the assault. "Because Constand's case is one of the few to fall within the statute of limitations, her trial is informally considered a representation of the large number of Cosby accusers".

"Equal justice under the law does not allow different treatment because of who he is", Judge O'Neill said.

O'Neill said he would not hold it against Cosby that he didn't speak or testify.

Cosby's lawyers asked for house arrest, saying Cosby - who is legally blind - is too old and vulnerable to do time in prison.

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