Sentencing/Post Conviction

Bill Cosby is sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, denied bail pending appeal

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Bill Cosby./

A Pennsylvania judge declared Bill Cosby a sexually violent predator on Tuesday and sentenced him to three to 10 years in prison.

Judge Steven O’Neill sentenced the 81-year-old Cosby for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee who said actor and comedian had drugged her before the 2004 assault at his home. The Washington Post, the New York Times and the Legal Intelligencer have coverage of the sentence.

Constand said in a statement that Cosby “took my beautiful, healthy, young spirit and crushed it.” When O’Neill read those words in court, Cosby “grumbled in a scoffing manner,” according to the Washington Post. Cosby’s wife, Camille, was not present for the sentencing and Bill Cosby did not testify.

Cosby had been convicted in an April retrial. O’Neill denied bail for Cosby while he appeals. He will also have to register as a sex offender because of the predator designation.

A defense lawyer had sought house arrest for Cosby, citing his age and blindness. Prosecutors said Cosby had shown no remorse and sought a maximum term of five to 10 years in prison.

Cosby was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent exposure for the assault. Each count carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, which could have led to a 30-year sentence. O’Neill decided to merge the sentences because they stemmed from the same event, which meant the maximum was 10 years in prison, according to the Times and prior coverage by the Legal Intelligencer.

Psychologists who testified on Monday and Tuesday differed on whether Cosby represented a continuing threat that merits the sexual predator classification. A psychologist for the state’s Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, Kristen Dudley, said Cosby had a lifetime interest in sex with nonconsenting women, an indication of a mental abnormality. State law says a sexually violent predator has “a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in predatory sexually violent offenses.”

The defense psychologist, Timothy Foley, said Cosby was no longer a threat. Foley had met with Cosby, but said he had not read trial records or depositions, and he wasn’t aware five other women had testified that they were also assaulted by Cosby.

O’Neill had allowed the women to testify about prior bad acts at the retrial to show a pattern of misconduct by Cosby.

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