Judge sentences Bill Cosby to at least three years in state prison

Judge sentences Bill Cosby to at least three years in state prison

Bill Cosby's sentencing hearing opened Monday with a debate over whether the 81-year-old comedian should be branded a "sexually violent predator" - a scarlet letter that would make him subject to mandatory lifetime counseling and community notification of his whereabouts.

Cosby, once known as "America's Dad", was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for molesting Andrea Constand, a former operations manager for the women's basketball team at Temple University, where Cosby was an enthusiastic supporter and major donor.

Dudley said witness testimony from his two trials "creates a picture of Mr Cosby, who befriends women and during course of the relationship was supplying them with drugs or alcohol to sedate them" and violating them for the "sole goal of his sexual gratification". But lawyers who work in sexual assault cases have predicted the once celebrated comedian could face a sentence of just two to four years.

Constand tweeted a Bible verse earlier Monday.

More than 60 other women accuse Cosby of sexual misconduct during his 50-year show business career.

In a two paragraph statement given to KDKA-TV News, CMU said it has a long and unwavering commitment and it will not tolerate sexual violence of any kind. Steele said, his voice rising.

Cosby also could address the court in an "allocution", Delano said.

He will be given the opportunity to speak in court before he is sentenced. However, Cosby's defense attorney, Joseph Green, argued that he is too old and frail to serve time behind bars, and instead recommended he be placed in a detention or rehabilitation facility.

Several of the Cosby accusers who were in Pennsylvania for the trial have returned, including Lili Bernard and Therese Serignese.

What he saw in Andrea the first time he laid eyes on her. He could be sentenced to as many as 30 years in prison.

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"We're glad that judgment day has finally come for Mr. Cosby", she said.

'It is time for justice in a court of law, ' the judge said.

Only after that will O'Neill impose his punishment, making Cosby the first celebrity sentenced for a sex crime since the 2017 downfall of Harvey Weinstein ushered in a United States watershed on sexual harassment.

"Mr. Cosby's frustration got the better of him and he used a name towards Mr. Steele he shouldn't have", Green said, asking the judge to consider the context.

The judge ruled on Cosby's "sexually violent predator" status after a psychologist for the state testified that the entertainer appears to have a mental disorder that gives him an uncontrollable urge to have sex with women without their consent.

Janice Dickinson - who did testify as a prior bad act witness at trial - is also in court this morning.

Prosecutors are expected to seek a lengthy sentence, citing the nature of Cosby's crime as well as his alleged history of misconduct.

At issue was a "nasty" personal conflict involving a prior district attorney, Bruce Castor, Cosby's team argued.

Since the April verdicts, Cosby has not been permitted to leave his Pennsylvania home.

Cosby could begin serving time by Tuesday night, or he could be allowed to wear an ankle bracelet under house arrest while he appeals.

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