Comedian Bill Cosby’s day of reckoning arrived this week when the disgraced star was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison. A county judge in Pennsylvania – Steven T. O’Neill, handed down the sentence after Cosby was found guilty of three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault and sexual assault in April 2018, in one of the most publicized criminal trials in the last 50 years.
Cosby’s attorneys asked that the comedian be released on bail during the appeal they filed. But the judge would not grant this request. Cosby is being delivered to prison immediately because Judge O’Neill stated that he believed Cosby could be a danger to the community.
The sentence he received was less than he could have gotten. Each sexual assault charge had a possible sentence of up to 10 years. This means that he could have been sentenced to 30 years. But DA Kevin Steel asked the judge to sentence the 81-year old Cosby to five to 10 years in state prison. But his defense attorneys argued that even that sentence would cause undue hardship to Bill Cosby.
Steel asked the court, what does an elderly man do in prison? How is he going to be able to fight off other prisoners who want to extort him or even attack him in open spaces?
But Cosby accuser Andrea Constand, and more than 60 women who have made sexual assault allegations against him in the past five years, argued that the man should not get a pass for his misdeeds because of his status and age.
Constand noted during her impact statement that she was unsure what was going on when the assault actually happened but the pain that she felt over time was intense. She felt a lot of shame, and self-doubt and confusion kept her from talking to friends and family about it.
Cosby’s prison sentence came after a long trial that led to a mistrial and a guilty verdict the second time. He was eventually convicted for drugging and sexually assaulting Constand at his home in Philidelphia in 2004. Since then, several women have made similar allegations against the Cosby Show superstar.
Steele noted that to say that he is too old to go to prison is to imply that he should get a ‘get out of jail free card’ because it took that long for the law to catch up to what he did.
The first part of the hearing for sentencing was about the efforts of the prosecution to label the comedian as a sexually violent predator. Even though his defense team argued that he is not a threat anymore, the judge ruled that he will be labeled as such. The classification matters because it means that he must have lifetime counseling and provide a report to law enforcement each quarter for the rest of his life. His name will be on a sex offender registry in Pennsylvania and will be sent to schools, victims and neighbors.
Cosby’s trial was promoted by women’s advocates as the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo movement. It was also the first to result in conviction. His reputation cratered after the comedian Hannibal Buress first brought up several sexual assault allegations against Cosby in 2014. Since then, more than 60 women have made similar allegations against him.
More than 10 years before the allegations became public record, Constand sued the comedian and settled for $3.4 million. In the deposition from that case, Cosby admitted that he bought drugs and gave women drugs and alcohol before he had sex. But he said that all of the encounters were consensual. The allegations by Constand were the only ones that could result in a criminal trial; most of the other accusations fell outside the statute of limitations for Pennsylvania.
Cosby Busts Out Laughing During Sentencing
Surprising some, Cosby started laughing during the sentencing in court this week. He had just been sentenced to three to 10 years for the 2004 sexual assault. But the 81-year-old was seen making jokes with his legal team, even as court officers took him into custody.
Cosby had to hand over his wallet, tie and watch to law enforcement before the judge ordered him to be remanded to the state. Cosby had previously been free on $1 million bail since he was first arrested in December 2015. The courtroom was cleared before the comedian – wearing red suspenders and a white shirt – was handcuffed from the front and was taken from the courtroom by law enforcement. He carried his cane in his and.
Life for Cosby in State Prison
Bill Cosby will serve his sentence in Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institute at Phoenix. The prison is located in Collegeville and is about 30 miles from Philidelphia. It is a maximum security prison.
The comic legal was given one of the prison’s 3830 beds ad was also given a uniform, toiletries, linens, towels, and boots. He is being kept in a single cell unit near the prison hospital. His first meal in prison was meatballs, rice, green beans, mashed potatoes, and gravy.