Judge bars parade of Bill Cosby accusers at sentencing hearing

Judge bars parade of Bill Cosby accusers at sentencing hearing

The Philadelphia-born comedian could get up to 30 years after a jury convicted him of drugging and molesting former temple employee Andrea Constand in 2004.

Cosby is legally blind and uses a cane, something his lawyers are certain to point out along with his achievements and philanthropy.

Judge O'Neill, however, ordered the prosecutors to inform him if they plan on bringing the five named witnesses back and rather than having them speak, is urging that they incorporate their trial testimonies instead, "in order to save time".

Cosby, who became known as "America's dad" as the star of his "The Cosby Show" sitcom, faces a maximum sentence up to 10 years in prison for each of the three counts, though sentencing guidelines may lead the judge to a lesser sentence.

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

Pennsylvania alone now has 2,200 people classified as sexually violent predators, of the more than 20,000 people on its Megan's Law list of sex offenders. He maintains his encounters with Constand and other women were consensual.

In a ruling last week, O'Neill refused to step down, calling the claim of bias "unsubstantiated" and "meritless". The appeals process could take years, however, and the 81-year-old has yet to set foot in a jail cell.

The court documents, obtained by the site, however, did specify that the prosecutor's request to include additional women who did not testify at the trial was denied. At sentencing, the judge will also have to decide whether he can remain free on bail while he pursues an appeal.

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