The judge handed down the sentence today against Bill Cosby in the sexual assault case that captured headlines around the world.
Cosby faced a maximum of 10 years after prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to merge the three counts of his conviction into one for sentencing purposes.
The state sentencing guidelines indicated 22 to 36 months in prison, plus or minus 12 months.
Judge Steven O’Neill sentenced the disgraced comedian to three to 10 years in state prison this afternoon for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, and he must pay a $25,000 fine and cost of prosecution. He is also now classified as a sexually violent predator and will have to register on the sex offender registry.
During the trial, prosecutors presented a slew of witnesses to convince the jury that the 81-year old Cosby had been a serial predator who has sexually assaulted dozens of women over the years, including Andrea Constand, who accused Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her in a 2004 encounter. The comedian acknowledges sexual contact took place, but says their interaction was consensual.
Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison.
— Montgomery County DA (@MontcopaDA) September 25, 2018
Cosby was handcuffed and taken immediately into custody.
Constand has maintained that Cosby drugged her and sexually assaulted her. Prosecutors brought in five women to testify who have brought claims against Cosby similar to Constand’s. Some 60 women have accused Cosby of similar assaults.
The jury in Bill Cosby‘s sexual assault re-trial found the comedian guilty of all counts after deliberating for just two days.
Each of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault comes with a 5-10 year possible sentence and a $25,000 fine.
During the three-week trial, which began April 9, prosecutors presented a slew of witnesses to convince the jury that 79-year old Cosby is a serial predator who has has sexually assaulted countless women over the years, including Constand.
Best known as America’s favorite dad, Heathcliff Huxtable from “The Cosby Show,” reportedly drugged and sexually assaulted the former Temple University Director of Operations for women’s basketball. Constand was one of 50 women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault. Hers was the only case still open for prosecution.
Kathy McKee, a former actress who has accused Cosby of raping her, told CNN that listening to the news about his sentencing stirred up some “very difficult and deep emotions.”
She said she is happy Judge Steven O’Neill sentenced Cosby accordingly and is grateful to Andrea Constand “for standing strong.”