Bill Cosby has been sentenced to no less than three years and up to a maximum of 10 years in prison. Additionally, the disgraced comedian must register as a sex offender and pay a $25,000 fine in addition to prosecution fees.
The penalty was handed down on the second day of sentencing hearings following an April conviction on three counts of aggravated indecent assault of Andrea Constand.
With his sentence, Judge Steven O’Neill sided with prosecutors, who were seeking a five-to-10-year prison sentence. Cosby’s defense petitioned for house arrest, arguing that a lengthy prison sentence was excessive for an 81-year-old man, who is legally blind man.
Judge O’Neil also ordered Cosby be publicly classified as a “sexually violent predator.” Such a designation requires a lifetime registration on the sex offenders’ registry and mandatory lifetime counseling. Cosby will also have to notify any neighbors, childcare centers, and schools wherever he lives of his registration status.
Attorneys for Cosby sought Cosby’s bail pending possible appeals, but that request was denied. Cosby was led away from the courtroom in handcuffs and will begin serving his prison sentence immediately.
Cosby’s guilty verdict stemmed from a 2004 incident in which Constand, now 45 and a former college and Canadian national team basketball player, was sexually assaulted by Cosby. The comedian gave her quaaludes to render her unable to consent or disapprove as he touched her breasts and made her touch his penis. The claims are similar to those of over 60 other women who have also accused Cosby of assault.
Constand joined 13 other women in a civil lawsuit against Cosby, which was settled out of court. Her original case against Cosby ended in a mistrial in July 2017, but a second trial led to his conviction.
In May, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences banned the disgraced comedian (along with Roman Polanski), while Northwestern University revoked Cosby’s Honorary Degree in June.