BREAKING NEWS Protests continue in downtown Lafayette, avoid the area Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Judge sentences Bill Cosby to three to ten years in prison for 2004 sex assault

Bill Cosby has been sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for drugging and molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home.

Posted: Sep 25, 2018 2:18 PM
Updated: Sep 25, 2018 2:20 PM

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby has been sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for drugging and molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home.

Judge Steven O'Neill sentenced Cosby on Tuesday, five months after his conviction in the first celebrity trial of the (hash)MeToo era.
Prosecutors were seeking a sentence of five to 10 years in prison. The defense asked for house arrest.

The 81-year-old comedian did not make a statement in court. Cosby sat back in his chair, his head on the headrest, as the sentence was read.

The entertainer was once known as "America's Dad" was convicted in April of sexually assaulting Temple University athletics administrator Andrea Constand in 2004.
Constand is one of about 60 women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct.

A judge declared Bill Cosby a "sexually violent predator" on Tuesday as he prepared to sentence the 81-year-old comedian for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman over a decade ago.

The classification means that Cosby must undergo monthly counseling for the rest of his life and report quarterly to authorities. His name will appear on a sex-offender registry sent to neighbors, schools and victims.

Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill made the decision as he weighed the punishment for Cosby for violating Temple University women's basketball administrator Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia estate in 2004.

Cosby declined the opportunity to address the court before the judge retreated to his chambers around noon to weigh the sentence. O'Neill said he would announce his decision early in the afternoon.

The comic once known as America's Dad for his role as wise and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" in the 1980s faced anywhere from probation to 10 years in prison after being convicted in April in the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

Cosby's lawyers asked for house arrest, saying Cosby — who is legally blind — is too old and helpless to do time in prison. Prosecutors asked for five to 10 years behind bars, saying the comic could still be a threat to women.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele rejected the notion that "age, infirmity, should somehow equate to mercy."

"He was good at hiding this for a long time. Good at suppressing this for a long time. So it's taken a long time to get there," Steele said.

Cosby's lawyers had fought the "sexually violent predator" designation, arguing that Pennsylvania's sex-offender law is unconstitutional and that he is no threat to the public at his age. But O'Neill said prosecutors had met their burden of proof by "clear and convincing" evidence.

When the ruling came down, a woman in courtroom shot her fist into the air and whispered, "Yessss!"

Meanwhile, Constand said in a statement submitted to the court and released Tuesday that she has had to cope with years of anxiety and self-doubt that have left her "stuck in a holding pattern."

Constand, 45, 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 she said Cosby knocked her out with pills and penetrated her with his fingers as she lay nearly paralyzed on a couch.

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."

She also wrote: "We may never know the full extent of his double life as a sexual predator but his decades-long reign of terror as a serial rapist is over."

In the years since Constand first went to authorities in 2005, more than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, though none of those claims have led to criminal charges.

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.

On Monday, a psychologist for the state testified that Cosby appears to have a mental disorder that gives him an uncontrollable urge to assault women.

Cosby was smiling and joking with his spokesman and sheriff's deputies as he settled into the courtroom Tuesday. On Day 1 of the sentencing, the comic laughed at times as the psychologist for the state testified.

Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom; they are generally banned in Pennsylvania.

The proceedings took place as another extraordinary #MeToo drama continued to unfold on Capitol Hill, where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces allegations of sexual misconduct from more than three decades ago.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, which Constand and other accusers have done.

Cosby became the first black actor to star in a prime-time TV show, "I Spy," in 1965. He remained a Hollywood A-lister for much of the next half-century.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34574

Reported Deaths: 2134
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9853578
Lake3616190
Allen161869
Cass15877
Elkhart132228
St. Joseph127434
Hendricks116971
Hamilton115993
Johnson1105108
Madison58659
Porter53928
Bartholomew51135
Clark50441
LaPorte43323
Howard40828
Tippecanoe4023
Jackson3891
Delaware38537
Shelby37322
Hancock33827
Floyd31839
Boone31535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2742
Montgomery24117
White2358
Noble23221
Clinton2321
Decatur22431
Grant21122
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry18211
Greene16924
Vigo1698
Dearborn16821
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Lawrence16324
Miami1401
Putnam1377
Kosciusko1351
Jennings1304
Orange12822
Scott1203
Franklin1108
Ripley1096
Marshall1082
Carroll932
Daviess8816
Steuben832
Wayne825
LaGrange812
Wabash782
Newton7810
Fayette777
Jasper671
Washington521
Jay520
Clay511
Fulton491
Rush472
Randolph473
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley423
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen351
Brown331
Perry330
Wells320
Benton300
Huntington282
Knox280
Tipton251
Blackford252
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke180
Gibson172
Posey160
Adams151
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167
West Lafayette
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 73°
Kokomo
Few Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 67°
Rensselaer
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
Fowler
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
Williamsport
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 71°
Crawfordsville
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 66°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 69°
Delphi
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
Monticello
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Logansport
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Hot, humid weather with severe weather risk.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events