Actor and comedian Bill Cosby has been sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison for the 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand
After being found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault in April for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004, entertainer Bill Cosby was sentenced for his crimes today in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The 81-year-old was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison.
Cosby was also classified by the judge as a “sexually violent predator,” which means he will receive counseling for the rest of his life, report to the authorities quarterly, and register as a sex offender.
Cosby faced a maximum of 30 years in prison, but in the end, lawyers asked the judge that he be sentenced to a maximum of 10. According to CNN, the 10-year max was determined after prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to merge the three counts of his conviction into one for sentencing purposes.
“This was a serious crime,” said Judge Steven O’Neill before the sentencing. “Mr. Cosby this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come.”
When the sentence was read, CBS news reported that some of Cosby’s victims cried, with their arms linked, while one woman in the courtroom shot her fist in the air and said, “Yes!”
During the sentencing hearing, the defense argued that Cosby is no longer a danger, because of his advanced age, and that the sex offender laws in Pennsylvania are unconstitutional. They also argued that Cosby should be granted house arrest due to his age.
Prosecutors argued for five to 10 years in prison.
Cosby starred as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show during the 1980s and early 1990s. In 2014, comedian Hannibal Burress did a routine that alluded to Cosby’s sexual misconduct, leading to over 60 women coming forward to accuse the actor of sexual assault — which usually consisted of being drugged at his home and then sexually violated. Cosby has admitted to having sex with some of the accusers that involved the illegal use of sedatives, but denies most charges.
This trial involved Temple University women’s basketball administrator Andrea Constand, who visited the Cosby estate in Philadelphia in 2004. Cosby gave her three sedatives and then touched her and removed her clothes while she was in a semi-conscious state. Constand filed a civil suit again Cosby in 2006 for a reported $3.6 million. There was a mistrial in January, and then a conviction in April.
In the moments after the news of his prison sentence, many took to Twitter with their thoughts.
Some pointed out the fact that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is facing allegations with a similar timeframe as Cosby’s.
Many other criminal cases against Cosby are now impossible to try due to the statute of limitations, but over 30 women have pending civil cases against him.
Constand filed a victim’s impact statement that read in part, “When the sexual assault happened, I was a young woman brimming with confidence and looking forward to a future bright with possibilities. Now, almost 15 years later, I’m a middle-aged woman who’s been stuck in a holding pattern for most of her adult life, unable to heal fully or to move forward.”
She also stated, “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.”