Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years
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.
Judge O’Neill has denied bail to Bill Cosby, according to a tweet from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Bill Cosby faces a maximum of 10 years after prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to merge the three counts of his conviction into one for sentencing purposes. (Judge O'Neill announced that the charges had been merged into one because they all stem from the same event.)
The state sentencing guidelines indicate 22 to 36 months in prison, plus or minus 12 months because of aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
An important note: The judge does not have to stick to the guidelines — he can issue a smaller or larger sentence, depending on various factors, with the maximum set at 10 years.
Prosecutors have 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.
Bill Cosby will be sentenced at 1:30 when court resumes.
Cosby did not address the court in his sentencing hearing. His attorney Joseph Green told the court Cosby did not want to speak.
Judge Steven O'Neill questioned to make sure he understood that decision. Cosby answered in a loud, clear "Yes"
Later he said he didn't need to talk to his lawyer any more about that issue. "I do not need any more discussion on that," Cosby said.
Commonwealth attorney Stewart Ryan proceeded to ask a series of questions to Cosby to confirm he understood that he had been convicted of the crime, and some of the requirements like mandatory registration and reporting to the police.
"If I went from a city to another city, do I have to - even if it's just overnight - I have to get in touch with the state police," Cosby asked Ryan. Ryan directed him to talk to his lawyers, but after a brief explanation Cosby said he understood.
Later, Cosby asked for more clarification on another question, which Ryan provided. Cosby then said he understood.
On one question about victim notification, Cosby asked Ryan if he had to notify Constand. Ryan corrected him and said it would happen through the program. "Good. Good. Yes," Cosby responded.
If Cosby changes residences he will have to register.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania submitted the attached Sentencing Memorandum to the court regarding Bill Cosby’s sentence. They are asking for 5-10 years imprisonment, $25,000 fine, and funds to pay for the costs of prosecution.
“A sober view of this case and this defendant, without any regard to emotion or sympathy, can mean only one just sentence, and that is the maximum allowed by law. The Commonwealth respectfully requests that this Court impose a sentence of 5 to 10 years’ imprisonment, a $25,000 fine, and costs of prosecution,” the document states.
Here are some other key lines:
- “Defendant’s crime was more than just a physical sexual assault. He violated Ms. Constand’s trust, which, unbeknownst to her, he spent time and energy cultivating with the specific intent of having sexual contact with her. He also abused his power. Defendant used his age, his stature at Temple University, and, of course, his acting success and public persona to facilitate his drug-induced sexual assault. The totality of his crime was severe. His sentence should reflect that.”
- “These assaults spanned decades and demonstrate an ingrained pattern of criminality. There is no indication the defendant’s behavior will stop merely because he has been convicted.”
- “Moreover, the defendant has never accepted responsibility for his crime, nor has he shown any remorse. Quite the opposite, he tried to silence Ms. Constand with money because he was concerned about his own potential financial harm if news of the assault became public.”