It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where the Bill Cosby case went from another celebrity trial to one of the largest scandals of the decade.
As one of the catalysts for “MeToo,” the case has dipped in and out of the public eye over the past few years. For many, the development from accusations, to arrest and trial is a great success. Many women don’t see their assailants come to justice, yet a prominent celebrity has been found guilty. Supporters of the movement hope that the Cosby case will shed light on sexual assault and its prevalence in Hollywood.
As Cosby’s sentencing draws near, many are wondering what the outcome will be. His fate lies in the hands of Judge Steven T. O’Neill, and his ruling has the power to put Cosby in a jail cell — possibly for the rest of his life. Cosby could also be designated a “sexually violent predator,” a title that holds much weight.
According to Complex, there’s a distinct difference between a “sexual offender” and a “sexually violent predator.” Where the former would still brand Cosby for life, the latter comes with monthly counselling for the rest of his life. While Cosby’s reputation is arguably dead in the water, this designation still has serious repercussions.
Bill Cosby may spend the rest of his life behind bars. https://t.co/hlhIcOog2C
— Rickey Smiley (@RickeySmiley) September 23, 2018
As reported by the Press Herald, Cosby’s defense attorneys are putting up a fight. Pennsylvania’s sexual offender laws are currently changing, and courts have noted their “vague” nature. Cosby’s case will have a massive impact on how they turn out.
“This is going to probably be a very important case for sex-offender law when it’s up on appeal,” says Demetra Mehta, former public defender. “It’s an area of law that is just sort of unsettled right now. There’s a lot up on appeal, but there’s not a lot decided.”
ABC reports that the hearing could last anywhere from one to two days, depending on how long it takes for Cosby’s designation to be determined. From there, it will be decided whether Cosby will face jail time for the three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He faces up to ten years on each charge, which could sum up to a serious amount of time.
For many, a prison term for Cosby would mean the end to a long downfall. For others, it would be considered a victory. Bill Cosby faces the court on Monday for his hearing, and it’s impossible to know exactly what the verdict will be.