Will Bill Cosby Actually Go To Jail? It’s Very Likely, Say Some Experts

Despite his age and wealth, Cosby can’t postpone the inevitable forever.

Matt SlocumAP Images

Bill Cosby may have been convicted on three counts of sexual assault, but that doesn’t mean he’s likely to see the inside of a prison cell any time soon, Yahoo News is reporting. The actor and comedian has promised to appeal his sentence, but his wealth and advanced age are only going to get him so far in avoiding a jail cell, say legal experts.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Cosby was convicted on all counts by a jury this week on three sexual assault charges dating back to 2004. If given the maximum sentence of 10 years on each count, he could face 30 years behind bars. However, legal analysts believe that, given his advanced age, he would be sentenced to serve all three terms concurrently.

Regardless, at 80, even a 10-year sentence would likely mean that Cosby would spend the rest of his life behind bars.

For now, Cosby remains free on bail while awaiting his sentencing. That’s a luxury afforded to very few convicted criminals in Pennsylvania, and one that Cosby was able to earn thanks to his considerable wealth, which allows him to afford the $1 million bail.

As of this writing, it’s unclear when Cosby will be sentenced, but Pennsylvania law requires that convicted criminals will be sentenced within 100 days. However, his attorneys have promised to appeal, and that process could take years, especially if his attorneys file delay after delay.

Meanwhile, Cosby is far from free. He’s under house arrest, and must wear a GPS monitoring device. His high-profile status means that he’s unlikely to successfully flee the country, says former prosecutor and public defender Jonathan Mandel.

“[Cosby’s] notorious enough that he’s not going to disappear in Honduras … and his advanced age and notoriety makes flight and new offenses unlikely.”

And even his appeal won’t spare him from prison. Pennsylvania law requires convicted criminals to serve their time while their appeal makes its way through the courts, says criminal defense attorney and trial lawyer Lisa Houlé.

“If he is sentenced to prison, he would start serving his prison sentence while the appeal is in progress.”

However, Cosby isn’t likely to do his time in a maximum-security prison with other convicted rapists. Because of his age, he’ll almost certainly be sentenced to a minimum-security facility, or even a prison hospital.

“In light of his age and lack of risk, he’ll probably be sent to a lower-security prison and, depending on his health, one which either is like an assisted-living home or one near a hospital.”