Following the end of a six-month trial, Bill Cosby has been sentenced to three to ten years in the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institute at Phoenix. In April, he was found guilty on three felony counts of aggravated, indecent assault against Andrea Constand. Constand accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her at his Pennsylvania home in 2004. This is Cosby’s second trial for the assault against Constand. He was first ordered to go to trial back in May 2016 in Montgomery County, Pa., but the case ended in a mistrial when the jury was unable to render a unanimous verdict after six days of deliberation.
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Judge Steven O’Neill directed a statement towards Cosby at the conclusion of the trial saying, “This was a serious crime. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come.”Cosby was then escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs. In addition to his prison sentencing, O’Neill ruled that Cosby was to pay fines of $25,000 plus prosecution costs and be deemed a “sexually violent predator.” This designation requires that Cosby be a lifetime registrant as a sex offender and for him to attend mandatory counseling. Cosby had previously been out of prison for the duration of the trial on a $1 million bail, but that has since been revoked.
In response to the sentencing, Cosby’s attorney Joseph Green requested that Cosby face house arrest for not being a threat to anyone. In his request, he claimed, “Eighty-one-year-old blind men who are not self-sufficient are not a danger, unless perhaps to themselves.” Green has expressed his disappointment in the verdict and intends to file an appeal, saying “We don’t think Mr. Cosby’s guilty of anything and the fight is not over.”
A spokesman for Cosby spoke against the results of conducting of the trial. In a statement, Andrew Wyatt asserted that Cosby was subjected to the “most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States.” and that the psychologists that testified against Cosby were “white women who make money off of accusing black men of being sexual predators.” A defense centered around racial injustices was a defense originally proposed in 2016 but was scrapped. This and a statement by Cosby’s wife Camille, liken Cosby’s situation to that of Emmet Till (a black man lynched for the assault of a white woman who later came forward to admit the fabrication of the accusation) to discredit the accusers.
Despite statements from Cosby’s defense and team, Cosby’s accusers feel glad and relieved to see Cosby going behind bars. Outside of the courthouse Victoria Valentino, one of the women who had accused Cosby, stated, “There’s so much emotion going on, I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or dance.” Valentino is among the women who said Cosby allegedly drugged and raped her in 1969.
“What was revealed through this investigation was a man who had spent decades preying on women that he drugged and sexually assaulted, and a man who evaded this moment right here for far too long,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele. “He used his celebrity, he used his wealth, he used his network of supporters to help him conceal his crimes. The prison in which Cosby, now inmate NN7687, has been sentenced is a maximum-security facility. He is reported to have been assigned to a 7-by-13-foot single cell nearest the infirmary. He has been placed in a single cell out of concern for his own safety, but the corrections facility has stated that it is within long-term goals of the facility for him to be introduced into the general population in order to partake in the programming required as part of his incarceration.
Within 24 hours of his sentencing, Cosby is now in the center of a pending lawsuit regarding legal fees. Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, the law firm that represented Cosby from January 2016 to January 2018, is suing Cosby for unpaid bills from as far back as June 2017. The total amount is estimated at around $283,000 and the firm is also seeking an additional 1.5 percent late fee. Cosby’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been vandalized with the words “Serial Rapist” written across in response to his incarceration. The graffiti was removed but the star will not be removed, according to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Many have wondered whether Cosby, a former Jell-O spokesman, would be enjoying his old product as an inmate. A spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections has stated that the pudding on the menu in prison is simply “a gelatin product.”