Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years

By Meg Wagner, Brian Ries, Jessie Yeung and Eric Levenson, CNN

Updated 5:43 p.m. ET, September 25, 2018
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3:43 p.m. ET, September 25, 2018

Prosecutor: Bill Cosby hid behind his character, Cliff Huxtable. But that was fiction.

Bill Cosby was able to hide his crimes for decades behind his fame and fortune, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said at a press conference following the sentencing.

The comedian once known as America's Dad was especially able to hide behind wholesome character on "The Cosby Show," Dr. Cliff Huxtable, Steele said.

"It was a seminal character on TV, and so was the family, but it was fiction," Steele said.

He continued:

"Before Bill Cosby became a convicted felon taken away in handcuffs and began paying for his crimes, a lot of people believed that’s who he was ... He used his acting skills that endearing TV personal to win over his victims and then keep them silent about what he did to them."

Steele said the "real" Bill Cosby has finally been revealed.

"Finally, Bill Cosby has been unmasked, and we saw the real man as he is headed off to prison," he said.

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3:17 p.m. ET, September 25, 2018

Gloria Allred on Cosby verdict: "Judgment day has come"

Gloria Allred, an attorney who represented some of Cosby's accusers, applauded the "just outcome" in a statement after the sentencing.

"This has been a long journey to justice for all of the accusers, particularly for Andrea Constand and for her family. And we respect the fact that they have undergone and endured this journey to justice," Allred said, speaking to reporters.

"This is a very important day. Judgment day has come."

"Mr. Cosby has shown no remorse, and there has been no justice for many of the accusers who were barred from a court by the arbitrary time limits imposed by the statute of limitations," she added, praising the accusers who were "brave enough to speak to law enforcement."

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3:04 p.m. ET, September 25, 2018

Bill Cosby leaves court in handcuffs

From CNN’s Aaron Cooper

Bill Cosby was just escorted out of the courtroom after being sentenced. He was seen leaving in handcuffs after Judge Steven O'Neill denied him bail.

"This is a serious crime he was convicted for. This is a sexual assault crime," the judge said. The courtroom has been cleared. 

Watch the moment:

2:57 p.m. ET, September 25, 2018

Andrea Constand leaves the courthouse

Andrea Constand, the woman Bill Cosby was convicted of sexually assaulting, smiled as she left the courtroom today.

She stopped to hug another woman on her way out.

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2:53 p.m. ET, September 25, 2018

Judge denies bail to Bill Cosby

Judge O’Neill has denied bail to Bill Cosby, according to a tweet from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office.

2:47 p.m. ET, September 25, 2018

Bill Cosby's judge: "No one is above the law"

From CNN's Aaron Cooper

Christine Cornell
Christine Cornell

In handing down his ruling to Bill Cosby today, Judge O’Neill said no one is above the law. He also referenced how brave Andrea Constand, who Cosby was convicted to sexually assaulting, was through this whole process.

"No one is above the law, and no one should be treated differently or disproportionally," Judge Steven O'Neill said.

 Cosby would be sentenced regardless of "who he is or who he was," O'Neill said.

"I have given great weight to the victim impact testimony in this case, and it was powerful," he added.

2:32 p.m. ET, September 25, 2018

Cosby accuser: I'm happy the judge sentenced him accordingly

Kathy McKee, a former actress who has accused Cosby of raping her, told CNN that listening to the news about Bill Cosby's sentencing stirs up some "very difficult and deep emotions."

Still, she said she is happy Judge Steven O'Neill sentenced Cosby accordingly and is grateful to Andrea Constand "for standing strong."

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2:19 p.m. ET, September 25, 2018

Judge to Cosby: "The day has come, the time has come"

From CNN’s Aaron Cooper

Judge Steven O'Neill handed down Bill Cosby's sentence in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania court Tuesday afternoon at 2:10 pm.  

"This was a serious crime," he said. "Mr. Cosby this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come." 

Cosby, who is now 81, was convicted of assaulting Constand in his Pennsylvania home 14 years ago.  

The defense earlier indicated it will appeal the conviction.  

2:20 p.m. ET, September 25, 2018

JUST IN: Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison

From CNN's Aaron Cooper and Eric Levenson

 Mark Makela/Getty Images
 Mark Makela/Getty Images

Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison on Tuesday for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand.

Cosby, 81, faced a maximum of 10 years in prison after prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to merge the three counts of his conviction into one for sentencing purposes.

The DA tweeted:

Prosecutors asked for a sentence of five to 10 years in prison. However, Cosby's defense attorney asked for a sentence of house arrest, citing Cosby's advanced age and blindness.

Once a groundbreaking actor known as "America's Dad," Cosby was accused by dozens of women of drugging and sexually assaulting them over his decades as a powerful media figure.

Cosby was convicted in April of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and assaulting Constand at his home in 2004, in the first high-profile celebrity criminal trial of the #MeToo era.