Bill Cosby is still more than two months away from his sentencing for an assault conviction, but experts predict that the disgraced actor and comedian may not be doing much hard time once he arrives in prison.
After Cosby was convicted last week of drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand, there has been much speculation on what kind of sentence the 80-year-old will receive. While some believe that he may be able to avoid prison altogether by stretching out the appeal process and remaining under house arrest, other experts believe he may end up behind bars — but not in the harsh conditions that other prisoners normally see.
An InTouch report speculated that because of his advanced age and near blindness, Bill Cosby will receive what amounts to “special treatment” when he arrives in prison.
“If his health is bad enough, he could be assigned to a special needs cell, where his daily essentials will be brought to him,” the report noted. “He could also get aid from one of the prison’s “trained peer support specialists” who will serve as guides. And given his celebrity status, Bill may also receive extra security measures to protect him inside.”
Bill Cosby’s age could also help earn him some leniency when it comes to sentencing, defense attorney Jason Antoine predicts. Speaking to Time, the former assistant district attorney in the county that neighbors where Cosby’s trial takes place said he believes Cosby’s lawyers will argue to receive the lowest end of the potential prison sentence.
Sentencing guidelines for aggravated indecent assault in Pennsylvania call for 22 to 36 months, the Time report noted. Even though Cosby could be sentenced to as much as 30 years behind bars, Antoine believes Cosby could wrangle to get even lower than what the guideline suggests. Antoine said Cosby will likely be sentenced to 22 months, but it could end up being as little as a year “if the defense teams does a great job.” The special treatment would likely come because of Cosby’s age, Antoine said.
Bill Cosby could also have the help of some outside groups once he is sentenced and arrives in prison. In Philadelphia, a group called the Gray Panthers helps support the needs of elderly prisoners and often advocates for their early release, noting that elderly ex-prisoners have the lowest rate of recidivism — less than 1 percent.