'Sexually violent predator' Cosby to spend at least three years in jail

For Bill Cosby and chief accuser, a day of reckoning arrives

This is the prison Bill Cosby is expected to spend the next three to 10 years of his life for sexually assaulting a woman in 2004.

"This has been a long journey to justice for all of the accusers - particularly for Andrea Contand and her family", attorney Gloria Allred told reporters outside the courtroom in Norristown, PA, referring to the woman Cosby sexually assaulted in 2004.

Cosby, 81, was sentenced to three to 10 years by Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O'Neill.

"Sexually Violent Predator" status requires lifetime registration, lifetime mandatory sex offender counseling with a treatment provider and notification of the community that a "sexually violent predator" lives in the area. He will also be on the sex offenders list sent to schools and neighbours.

It was the second time Cosby had stood trial for the allegations, after an earlier jury failed to reach a verdict in June 2017. In typical self-pitying fashion, Cosby filed a lawsuit against seven women, saying they cost him those deals.

A jury of seven men and five women took 14 hours to find him guilty on all three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

The woman Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting said in a statement released at the comedian's sentencing Tuesday that she has had to cope with years of anxiety and self-doubt that have left her "stuck in a holding pattern". However, the judge wasn't feeling that at all and deemed Cosby a "sexually violent predator".

Feden pressed for those charges against Cosby back in 2015, before the Me Too movement put a spotlight on sexual misconduct. "Judgment day has come", said Gloria Allred in a press appearance while it rained. Prosecutors asked for five to 10 years behind bars, saying the comic could still be a threat to women.

"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.

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Throughout the nearly two-day sentencing, the prosecution reiterated Cosby's crimes and what they call his "predatory" nature: "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". His defense requested that he be able to serve his term on house arrest instead of prison, considering he's old and blind and a celebrity, but the judge said, in so many words: Hell no. Prison for you.

Defence lawyers argue that Cosby should be confined to house arrest, as he has been since his conviction, arguing that he is too old and too frail - the actor says he is legally blind - to endure a correctional facility. "The courageous survivors who spoke out and the diligent prosecutors made his trial and conviction possible", Ossorio says.

On Monday there had been legal debate over whether Cosby deserved the violent predator label.

Constand's case was the only one that was within the statute of limitations.

"You rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the insane down a couple notches".

But proving those allegations in criminal court is another story, and Cosby's conviction shows how hard that remains.

Cosby's wife, Camille Cosby, wrote in a statement that he was "denied his right to a fair trial" and accused Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele of using falsified evidence against him.

During the sentencing, Cosby sat motionless in a courtroom packed with about 200 people. He went on to become hugely famous as the wise and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show". Cosby, 81, once considered to be "America's Dad", had no witnesses testify in his defense today. He remained a Hollywood A-lister for much of the next half-century.

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