Bill Cosby Begins Prison Sentence Following Ruling. He Will Serve 3 To 10 Years (Video)
This afternoon (September 25) Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for the 2004 assault of Andrea Constand. A Montgomery County, Pennsylvania judge ruled on Tuesday that the former actor/comedian would serve “no less than three and no more than 10 years” in state prison. He’ll also have to pay a $25,000 fine and will have to register as a sex offender, a lifelong distinction that will be accompanied by monthly counseling sessions once Mr. Cosby is released from incarceration.
Judge Steven O’Neill addressed the court during Cosby’s sentencing. “It is time for justice. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The time has come,” he said. “This is a serious crime. … The nature of this crime indicates that he could be a danger to the community.” O’Neill denied Cosby bail, and he was remanded to custody immediately.
The sentence is in line with the one requested by District Attorney Kevin Steele, who sought a prison term of five to 10 years, following Cosby’s April conviction on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted Constand 14 years ago. The defense requested that the 81-year-old convicted sex offender be spared prison time due to his age and physical condition. Steele addressed the press after the court proceeding.
“It’s been a long time but (justice) arrived when a convicted felon named William H. Cosby Jr. left the courtroom in handcuffs, headed off to state prison for his crimes,” he told reporters. “It’s been a long wait for our victim, Andrea Constand, as it has for the other women who have endured similar sexual assaults and rapes at the hands of the defendant.” Bill Cosby’s sentence came just hours after the judge ruled he is a “sexually violent predator,” a title that was recommended by a Pennsylvania state board.
There has been push-back from Cosby’s team. His publicist, Andrew Wyatt, also addressed reporters outside of the courthouse and called the sentencing and prior trial “the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States.”
“The racist and sexist mass media was attacking and denouncing Dr. Cosby whenever his lawyers even hinted there was racism and sexism present,” he said. “All three of the psychologists who testified against Dr. Cosby were white women who make money off of accusing black men of being sexual predators.”
Prosecutors also released Andrea Constand’s victim impact speech to the judge in which she describes how her life was changed after the alleged assault. “I knew who I was and I liked who I was … Nothing could have prepared me for an evening of January 2004, when life as I knew it came to an abrupt halt,” she wrote in reference to the time of the attack. “Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it. He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature, and my trust in myself and others.”
Bill Cosby can seek an appeal but will have to remain in prison during those proceedings.