America’s iconic TV dad, Bill Cosby Tuesday was led away to jail to begin his three to ten year sentence for drugging and assaulting women
Cosby, 81, was handcuffed and led straight to prison after a judge sentenced him to between 3-10 years for drugging and assaulting a woman over a decade ago – and branded him a ‘sexually violent predator’
Bill Cosby was sentenced on Tuesday to three to 10 years in state prison, and he must serve a minimum of three years before becoming eligible for parole,
He was also fined $25,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs, of about $44,000
He will appear on a sex-offender registry after Judge Steven O’Neill earlier declared he is a ‘sexually violent predator’
Cosby’s sentencing comes five months after he was convicted for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home in 2004
Prosecutors were seeking a sentence of five to 10 years in prison but his lawyers asked for house arrest, saying he is too old to do time in prison
Cosby was taken to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility outside Philadelphia where he will spend the first few days of his prison sentence
He will then be relocated to SCI Phoenix, a new state prison outside Philadelphia
Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt called the trial the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the country
Wyatt added: ‘Mr Cosby knows that God is watching over him. He knows that these are lies. They persecuted Jesus and look what happened‘
Drama at Cosby sentencing!
Arriving court in apparent high spirits: TV icon Bill Cosby was pictured smiling when he got out of his car on Tuesday heading into court for his sentencing
Departing court in shackles: The 81-year-old comic once known as ‘America’s Dad’ was escorted from the courtroom in handcuffs – headed straight to prison
Bill Cosby emerged from a Pennsylvania courtroom in handcuffs and was led straight to state prison on Tuesday after being sentenced to three to 10 years for drugging and molesting a woman more than a decade ago.
Judge Steven O’Neill handed down Cosby’s sentence on Tuesday afternoon as the 81-year-old comedian sat back in his chair with his head on the headrest.
The irony was not lost as Cosby who seemed to be in an ebullient mood on arrival, removed his watch, tie and jacket in the courtroom before being escorted out in handcuffs while carrying his walking stick.
‘This was a serious crime. It is time for justice. Mr Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The time has come,’ O’Neill said in sentencing the comic once known as America’s Dad. ‘No one is above the law, and no one should be treated differently.’
The punishment came at the end of a two-day hearing at which the judge also declared Cosby a ‘sexually violent predator’.
The classification means that Cosby must undergo lifetime counseling and report quarterly to authorities. He will be added to a sex-offender registry sent to neighbors, schools and victims.
Cosby was denied bail, fined $25,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs, which are expected to be more than $44,000.
He declined the opportunity to address the court during his sentencing and sat smiling, laughing and chatting with his defense team while waiting for the judge’s decision.
His wife of 54 years, Camille, was not in court during the sentencing.
TV’s ‘the perfect dad – Dr. Huxtable,’ was sentenced to serve three to 10 years in state prison on Tuesday afternoon, and booked into the Montgomery County Correctional Facility outside Philly
Bill Cosby he was handcuffed and escorted from the courtroom carrying his walking stick after he had been convicted for drugging and molesting a woman in Philadelphia in 2004.
‘We got him, at last!’ The victim in the Cosby rape case, Andrea Constand [center, in orange vest and grey suit], emerged from the courtroom smiling on Tuesday after Cosby was jailed for drugging and molesting her at his Philadelphia home in 2004
Andrea Constand embraced fellow Cosby rape accuser, Janice Dickinson, in the hallways of the court following the comedian sentencing
Cosby was taken to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility [in white vest], outside Philadelphia where he will spend the first few days of his prison sentence
Cosby was escorted from the courthouse in police custody in the rain on Tuesday afternoon – tripped as he is led away to jail in handcuffs
Stipped down to a vest and braces as he starts his three to ten year sentence for drugging and assaulting women, Bill Cosby was transported to state prison soon after being sentenced to three to 10 years
She said in a statement submitted to the court and released on Tuesday that she has had to cope with years of anxiety and self-doubt that have left her ‘stuck in a holding pattern’.
She said her training as a professional basketball player had led her to think she could handle anything, but ‘life as I knew it’ ended on the night that Cosby knocked her out with pills and violated her. Constand said she now lives alone with her two dogs and has trouble trusting people.
‘When the sexual assault happened, I was a young woman brimming with confidence and looking forward to a future bright with possibilities,’ she wrote in her five-page statement.
‘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.’
In the years since Constand first went to police in 2005, more than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, though none of those claims have led to criminal charges.
Andrea Constand attended the press conference with Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele after Cosby’s sentencing Tuesday, but didn’t address the media
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said Cosby had been ‘unmasked’ as a predator now that he had been convicted.
He said at a news conference after the sentencing that Cosby used his fame and fortune to ‘hide his true self and hide his crimes’ and intimidated his victims into keeping them silent for decades.
‘For decades, the defendant has been able to hide his true self and hide his crimes using his fame and fortune. He’s hidden behind a character created, Dr Cliff Huxtable,’ Steele said, referring to Cosby’s best-known role.
‘Now, finally, Bill Cosby has been unmasked, and we have seen the real man as he is headed off to prison.’
Excerpt from Andrea Constand’s impact statement: Bill Cosby ‘took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it.’
“……I know now that I am one of the lucky ones. But still, 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.
Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it. He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature, and my trust in myself and others.
I’ve never married and I have no partner. I live alone. My dogs are my constant companions, and the members of my immediate family are my closest friends.
My life revolves around my work as a therapeutic massage practitioner. Many of my clients need help reducing the effects of accumulated stress. But I’ve also trained in medical massage at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and often help cancer patients manage the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. I help many others too – people with Parkinson’s, arthritis, diabetes, and so on. Some of my clients are in their 90s. I help them cope with the ravages of old age, reducing stiffness, aches and pains.
I like my work. I like knowing that I can help relieve pain and suffering in others. I know that it helps heal me too…. I no longer play basketball but I try to stay fit. Mostly, I practice yoga and meditation, and when the weather is warm, I like to pedal my bike up long steep hills.
It all feels like a step in the right direction: away from a very dark and lonely place, toward the person I was before all this happened.
Instead of looking back, I am looking forward to looking forward. I want to get to the place where the person I was meant to be gets a second chance”.
Constand stood at Steele’s side but shook her head to say she had no comment.
Former model Janice Dickinson, who was among the 60 or so women who have come forward to accuse Cosby of drugging and violating them over the past five decades, looked at him in the courtroom and said: ‘Here’s the last laugh, pal.’
Another accuser in the courtroom, Lili Bernard, 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.’
Nailing it down: Judge Steven O’Neill [photo], ot Tuesday’s sentencing branded Cosby is a ‘sexually violent predator’
The judge ruled on Cosby’s sex-offender status after a defense psychologist, Timothy Foley, testified that the chances of the comedian committing another sex offense are ‘extraordinarily low’ because he is old, legally blind and needs help getting around.
A psychologist for the state, Kristen Dudley, testified on Monday that Cosby appears to have a mental disorder that gives him an uncontrollable urge to have non-consensual sex with young women.
Cosby was smiling and joking with his spokesman and sheriff’s deputies as he settled into the courtroom Tuesday morning.
Former model Janice Dickinson, who was among the over 60 or so women who have come forward to accuse Cosby of drugging and violating, raises her fist in the air as she left the courtroom on Tuesday