Cosby sentenced to prison, designated 'sexually violent predator'


Cosby sentenced to prison, designated 'sexually violent predator'

For years, a nondisclosure agreement kept Constand and her family silent; the Cosby criminal trial provided her with an opportunity to finally reveal what took place almost 15 years ago.

Facing the possibility of prison at 81, Bill Cosby arrived at a suburban Philadelphia courthouse Tuesday to learn his punishment for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman over a decade ago in what led to the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

The comedian must also pay a fine of $20,000 as well as the prosecution's court costs.

Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O'Neill ordered Cosby to be jailed immediately, denying Cosby's request for bail while lawyers appeal the conviction.

But O'Neill said prosecutors had met their burden of proof by "clear and convincing" evidence. He is now under house arrest and out on $1 million bail.

Cosby was led out of the courtroom today in handcuffs and will spend the first few days of his sentence at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility outside Philadelphia before entering state prison. Meanwhile, Cosby's lawyers had pushed for house arrest, citing their client's blindness, advanced age and declining health.

Judge O'Neill also chose to designate Cosby a "sexually violent predator" under Pennsylvania law. In addition, he will have to undergo counseling for the rest of his life and report to authorities every three months, according to The Associated Press.

Cosby was found guilty in April on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Constand, who is now a massage therapist in Canada, testified during the trial in April and in an earlier trial previous year that ended with a hung jury, that she had become friends with Cosby, and viewed him as a mentor.

The former Temple basketball player testified that she was helpless to stop Cosby's sexual advances after the comedian gave her some wine and three blue pills "to take the edge off".

Cosby declined the opportunity to address the court before the sentence came down. On the first day of the sentencing, the comic laughed at times as the psychologist on the stand for the state portrayed him as a sexual predator with signs of a mental disorder.

A judge has ruled that Bill Cosby is a "sexually violent predator". Cosby's defense attorneys argued that the settlement made Constand a "con artist", while Constand said she settled because her family just wanted the process to be over.

Sonia Ossorio, president of the National Organization for Women of NY, praised Constand and each of the more than 60 women who have come forward to tell their stories about Cosby.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, which Toronto-based Constand and other women have done. Many of his accusers say he drugged them before the assault.



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