Bill Cosby Sentenced To No Less Than 3 Years On Sexual Assault Charges, Declared A ‘Sexually Violent Predator’

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Comedian and the man who was once known as “America’s Dad” Bill Cosby has been to sentenced to 3 to 10 years imprisonment and declared a “sexually violent predator” after being found guilty in April of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. His accuser Andrea Constand’s allegation was one nearly 60 similar allegations against Cosby, but the only one to bring forth criminal charges. Many of the other allegations spanned Cosby’s career and fell outside that statute of limitations.

Cosby was originally arrested on the charges in 2015, with a mistrial declared in the case after a deadlocked jury in June 2017. Cosby’s 2018 retrial became major news as it was a part of the growing #MeToo movement, which focused on the same themes of abuse of power and sexual misconduct. According to reports from the BBC, law professor Aviva Orenstein believed the movement may have played a role in influencing the judge to allow for more witnesses to come forward during the retrial. Five additional women testified during Cosby’s retrial, while Constand was the only one during the original trial.

The judge in the case, Steven O’Neill, has stepped in to prevent any more women from testifying against Cosby during the sentencing hearing, according to reports from Reuters. This was not a case in ex-Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s trial with similar circumstances, where 156 women testified against the doctor during the sentencing hearing. Nasser was eventually sentenced to 3,000 years behind bars.

Before his sentencing, Cosby was originally looking at anywhere between 10 years in prison, due to the maximum of 10 years for each charge which would be served concurrently, to as little as probation or the continuation of his house arrest, where the comedian would have the same experience as he has had since posting the $1 million bail by wearing an ankle monitor and needing permission to leave his home.

There were concerns put forth by Cosby’s defense that if imprisoned, the comedian would become one of the few state inmates to be older than 80 and legally blind. Another key point was the designation of Cosby as a “sexually violent predator,” which would force him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, rather than a shorter timeframe designated by the judge.

Constand’s allegations date back to January 2004 when the former employee of Cosby’s alma mater Temple University. Constand viewed Cosby as a mentor and thought the pair shared a close friendship, despite her having previously spurned his previous advances. That all changed during a visit to Cosby’s home when Cosby gave Constand three blue pills that Constand says blurred her vision and made her feel as though she was “in and out” of consciousness, according to court documents reported by Fox News. Cosby then engaged in sex acts with Constand while she was unable to move or give consent.

Constand had previously sued Cosby for the assault in 2005 and was awarded $3.4 million in a settlement with the comedian. During the deposition in the 2005 case, Cosby did admit to giving women Quaaludes, drugs, and alcohol before engaging in sexual intercourse, but stood by his belief that it was all consensual.