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 Bill Cosby sentenced to three to ten years in prison for sexual assault

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Bill Cosby sentenced to three to ten years in prison for sexual assault Empty
PostSubject: Bill Cosby sentenced to three to ten years in prison for sexual assault   Bill Cosby sentenced to three to ten years in prison for sexual assault EmptyWed 26 Sep 2018, 8:00 am

BILL Cosby was laughing and cracking jokes after he was jailed for up to 10 years and labelled a “sexually violent predator”.

BILL Cosby has been sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison after an epic legal battle over sexual assault accusations.

“It is time for justice,” said Judge Steven O’Neill, who also fined the entertainer $35,000. “Mr Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The time has come.”

The former TV star was convicted on April 26 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault after drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in suburban Philadelphia in 2004.

Mr O’Neill quoted from Ms Constand’s statement, saying Cosby took her “beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it.”

The 81-year-old did not take his opportunity to speak in court, smiling and chatting with his defence team before he was led away in handcuffs.

Cosby burst out laughing in court – moments after he was sentenced

He was seen cracking jokes with his team in Montgomery County court, as sheriff’s officers swooped in to take him directly into custody.

But his mugshot told a different story, showing the disgraced star looking downcast, his reputation in tatters.

Cosby was taken into custody immediately, rather than being permitted to remain under house arrest pending his expected appeal, as some had feared could happen.

Wife Camille, who has stuck by her husband despite accusations by 60 women, was not present. But she released a statement claiming he “was denied his right to a fair trial.”

The disgraced star’s publicist Andrew Wyatt delivered an extraordinary speech following the first high-profile court case of the #MeToo era. “This has been one of the most racist and sexist trials in the history of the United States,” he said.

The spokesman claimed some of the accusers were “white women who make money off of accusing black men of being sexual predators.”

Mr Wyatt said Cosby was “doing great” and “knows that these are lies”, adding: “They persecuted Jesus and look what happened. Not saying Mr Cosby’s Jesus, but we know what this country has done to black men for centuries.”

Ms Constand smiled and hugged her supporters as she walked out of Montgomery County Court in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

In her victim impact statement, released by prosecutors today, she described the horror of the sexual assault and its effects on her psyche. “At the time of the assault, I was 30 years old, and a fit, confident athlete,” said Ms Constand, who was then director of operations on the women’s basketball team at Temple University, where Cosby was a trustee.

“Nothing could have prepared me for an evening of January 2004, when life as I knew it came to an abrupt halt.

“The man I had come to know as a mentor and friend drugged and sexually assaulted me. Instead of being able to run, jump and pretty much do anything I wanted physically, during the assault I was paralysed and completely helpless. I could not move my arms or legs. I couldn’t speak or even remain conscious. I was completely vulnerable, and powerless to protect myself.

“After the assault, I wasn’t sure what had actually happened but the pain spoke volumes. The shame was overwhelming. Self-doubt and confusion kept me from turning to my family or friends as I normally did. I felt completely alone.

“We may never know the full extent of his double life as a sexual predator, but his decades-long reign of terror as a serial rapist is over.”

“I’m grateful to Andrea for standing strong,” Kathrine McKee, who sued Cosby for defamation, told CNN. “I suffered for 40-plus years. He’s got three to 10 years. He shows no remorse whatsoever. He’s not sorry at all.”


The judge earlier declared Cosby a “sexually violent predator”, meaning lifetime community notifications of his whereabouts, counselling and a deep stain on his reputation.

Former model Janice Dickinson, one of his accusers, said in court: “Here’s the last laugh, pal.”

Lili Bernard, another accuser who was at court, said: “There is solace, absolutely. It is his fame and his fortune and his phony philanthropy that has allowed him to get away with impunity. Maybe this will send a message to other powerful perpetrators that they will be caught and punished.”

Lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents some of the accusers, said outside court: “This is a very important day … We’re glad that judgment day has finally come for Mr Cosby.

“Mr Cosby has shown no remorse.”

She said justice had still been denied for many of his accusers.


Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele told a news conference: “For decades, the defendant has been able to hide his true self and hide his crimes using his fame and fortune.”

The prosecutor said Cosby had “hidden behind a character” — Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show — but “now, finally, Bill Cosby has been unmasked.”

During the two-day sentencing, Mr Steele spoke of how being sexual assault was a “physically violating experience” and how Ms Constand was tormented by “pain and anguish” after the crime.

“Nobody is above the law,” he added, noting Cosby had failed to accept responsibility. “He seemingly thinks that he hasn’t done anything wrong.”

Mr Steele asked for a five- to ten-year sentence in a state facility to be imposed, as well as the maximum $35,000 fine. “We ask this because of who he is behind the mask, behind the act that he perpetuated for all of the years he did and that he used to victimise.”

But defence lawyer Joseph Green said “frenzied public opinion doesn’t drive legal consequences” and said the legally blind entertainer was unlikely to reoffend at his age.

He asked the judge to consider how Cosby would fare behind bars at 81 years old. “How does he fight off the people who are trying to extort him?

“Mr Cosby is not dangerous, 81-year-old blind men who are not self-sufficient are not dangerous — except perhaps to themselves.”


Ms Constand briefly addressed the court on Monday, saying: “The jury heard me. Mr Cosby heard me. Now all I am asking for is justice as the court sees fit.”

Her tearful mother Gianna read a heartbreaking victim impact statement.

She said learning of the attack on her daughter in 2004 was “a rollercoaster that never came to an end” and “became a nightmare” for her, too.

“Not only was I listening to Andrea’s nightmare but I had my own battles,” she said, describing how Cosby and his lawyers had destroyed the family’s reputation. “I had some volatile communication with Bill Cosby that caused me to have physical ailments that still last.

“I sacrificed years of pension loss to take care of my mental health. I worry about my daughter, live in fear of her physical and mental state of mind and realise this event has contributed to so much pain and sadness in my life.”

She said Cosby was right when he told her he was “a sick man”, and he had “protected himself at the cost of ruining many lives.”

Ms Constand’s father Andrew said he felt such “sadness for my wife and daughter” that he had been unable to think and had to take pills to help him sleep — eventually doubling the dose.

Her sister Diane Parsons said her happy, energetic sibling was a changed person after the crime, “frail, nervous and weak”. Ms Parson said she was “shocked” and felt “helpless” to assist her sister.


Cosby’s spokesman Mr Wyatt said the former Cosby Show star was “still America’s Dad”, as he walked into court on Monday afternoon.

A crowd of protesters, accusers and Cosby supporters gathered at court on the outskirts of Philadelphia for the disgraced performer’s sentencing.

One protester pushed a Cosby mannequin on a trolley blowing bubbles, with signs on it reading “America’s first #MeToo conviction” and attacking the statute of limitations, which prevented most of his 60 accusers from pressing charges.

The comedian pointed at the crowd as he walked in, but remained silent while his lawyers fought on his behalf — as he has largely done throughout his high-profile trial, apart from one outburst.

That came when the prosecutor asked the judge to revoke his bail at an earlier hearing, claiming he was a flight risk and had a private plane. Cosby shouted: “He doesn’t have a plane, you asshole!”

The hearing opened with a discussion of whether Cosby should be branded a “sexually violent predator. “I came to the conclusion that Mr Cosby does in fact meet the criteria to be classified as a sexually violent predator,” said Dr Kristen Dudley, a member of Pennsylvania’s State Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, citing the nature of his relationship with Ms Constand.

“He used that friendship, that relationship, that trust to take advantage of her using drugs and alcohol and when she was rendered unconscious or sedated.”

Dr Dudley said witness testimony from his two trials “creates a picture of Mr Cosby, who befriends women and during course of the relationship was supplying them with drugs or alcohol to sedate them” and violating them for the “sole purpose of his sexual gratification.”

Testifying for the prosecution, the psychologist claimed Cosby had a mental abnormality, a “paraphilic disorder” in which he targeted “nonconsenting women.”

Ms Constand, now 45, spoke with her abuser and former mentor after the attack, as is common with sexual assault victims trying to make sense of what has happened to them.

“The sound of his voice over the phone felt like a knife going through my guts,” she said in her statement.

Defence lawyer Mr Green argued that a key factor in branding a “sexually violent predator” was the risk of re-offending — and that the literature shows that risk declines with age. He said the legally blind 81-year-old would have few opportunities to meet and victimise anyone else.

Mr Green also noted that the “paraphilic disorder” Dr Dudley applied to the former Cosby Show star had only become a possible diagnosis in the past few years.

Cosby has been under house arrest after posting a $1 million bail. He was only able to leave his home with advance permission, for medical reasons or to meet lawyers.

He was living with wife Camille, who has stuck with him throughout the accusations, saying there had only been “affairs”, which the couple had resolved privately.

Ms Constand was the only victim to give evidence at Cosby's first trial, which ended in a mistrial with the jurors deadlocked and unable to reach a unanimous decision.

At the retrial, five other accusers were also permitted to give evidence.
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