His Hollywood profession and good-guy picture in ruins, 81-year-old Invoice Cosby was sentenced Tuesday to 3 to 10 years behind bars for drugging and sexually assaulting a Canadian lady, changing into the primary celeb of the #MeToo period to go to jail.
The punishment all however accomplished the dizzying, late-in-life fall for the comic, former TV star and breaker of racial obstacles.
“It’s time for justice. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled again to you. The time has come,” mentioned Montgomery County Decide Steven O’Neill.
It’s time for justice. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled again to you.– Decide Steven O’Neill
He quoted from sufferer Andrea Constand’s personal assertion to the court docket, during which she mentioned Cosby took her “lovely, younger spirit and crushed it.”
Cosby declined the chance to deal with the court docket earlier than the sentence got here down. He sat again in his chair, his head on the headrest, because the sentence was learn.
Cosby’s legal professionals requested that he be allowed to stay free on bail whereas he appeals his conviction, however the decide appeared incredulous over the request and turned it down, saying that even contemplating Cosby’s age and blindness, “he may fairly presumably be a hazard to the neighborhood.”
Cosby, who was additionally fined $ 25,000 US, was led away from the Pennsylvania courtroom in handcuffs to start serving the sentence.
A spokesperson for the Montgomery County district lawyer’s workplace says Cosby might be held on the county jail for no less than the following few days. From there, he’ll be taken to SCI Phoenix, a brand new state jail exterior Philadelphia, the place workers will assess his bodily, medical and safety wants to find out whether or not he’ll serve his time on a long-term medical care unit.
Prosecutor says Cosby has been ‘unmasked’.
The ruling got here on the finish of a two-day listening to at which the decide declared Cosby a “sexually violent predator” — a modern-day scarlet letter that topics him to month-to-month counselling for the remainder of his life and requires that neighbours and faculties be notified of his whereabouts.
The comedian as soon as referred to as America’s Dad for his position on top-rated The Cosby Present within the 1980s was convicted in April of violating Constand, then-Temple College ladies’s basketball administrator, at his suburban Philadelphia property in 2004.
Cosby confronted a sentence of wherever from probation to 10 years in jail. His legal professionals requested for home arrest, saying Cosby — who’s legally blind — is just too previous and weak to do time in jail. Prosecutors requested for 5 to 10 years behind bars, saying he may nonetheless pose a risk to ladies.
Montgomery County District Legal professional Kevin Steele rejected the notion that Cosby’s age and infirmity entitle him to mercy. “He was good at hiding this for a very long time. Good at suppressing this for a very long time. So it is taken a very long time to get there,” Steele mentioned.
He was good at hiding this for a very long time. Good at suppressing this for a very long time. So it is taken a very long time to get there.– Montgomery County District Legal professional Kevin Steele
The sentencing got here as one other extraordinary #MeToo drama unfolded on Capitol Hill, the place Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces allegations of sexual misconduct greater than three a long time in the past.
The Cosby case “actually raised consciousness of the pervasiveness of … sexual misconduct in opposition to subordinates and in opposition to ladies of comparatively much less energy,” mentioned Daniel Filler, dean of the Drexel College legislation college in Philadelphia.
“For jurors, I believe it is inherently modified the credibility of the accusers.”
Within the years since Constand first went to authorities in 2005, greater than 60 ladies have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, although none of these claims led to legal prices.
Talking after the sentencing, Steele thanked Constand and mentioned for years she had been a “rock,” who has “finished the proper factor over and over and over.”
“She may have stayed house in Canada and he or she may have lived a quiet life, however she knew it was necessary to see that justice was served,” he mentioned.
Constand was a ‘rock’ all through prolonged prosecution, DA says.
The decide dominated on Cosby’s “sexually violent predator” standing after a psychologist for the state testified that the entertainer seems to have a psychological dysfunction that offers him an uncontrollable urge to have intercourse with ladies with out their consent. When the ruling got here down, a girl within the courtroom shot her fist into the air and whispered, “Yessss!”
In a blistering assertion, Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt mentioned the comedian was subjected to “most racist and sexist trial within the historical past of america.”
Amongst different issues, Wyatt mentioned all three of the psychologists who testified in opposition to Cosby have been “white ladies who generate profits off of accusing black males of being sexual predators,” and he accused prosecutors of utilizing a doctored recording of a phone dialog between Constand’s mom and Cosby.
‘Caught in a holding sample’
In a press release submitted to the court docket and launched Tuesday, Constand, now 45, mentioned that she has had to deal with years of hysteria and self-doubt. She mentioned she now lives alone together with her two canines and has hassle trusting folks.
“When the sexual assault occurred, I used to be a younger lady brimming with confidence and looking out ahead to a future shiny with prospects,” she wrote in her five-page assertion. “Now, nearly 15 years later, I am a middle-aged lady who’s been caught in a holding sample for many of her grownup life, unable to heal absolutely or to maneuver ahead.”
She additionally wrote of Cosby: “We could by no means know the total extent of his double life as a sexual predator, however his decades-long reign of terror as a serial rapist is over.”
The AP doesn’t usually establish individuals who say they’re victims of sexual assault except they arrive ahead publicly, which Constand and different ladies have finished.
Constand went to police a yr after waking up in a fog at Cosby’s gated property, her garments askew, solely to have the district lawyer go on the case.
One other district lawyer reopened the file a decade later and charged the TV star after standup comedian Hannibal Buress’s riff about Cosby being a rapist prompted extra accusers to come back ahead and after a federal decide, performing on a request from The Related Press, unsealed a few of Cosby’s startling, decade-old testimony in Constand’s associated civil go well with.
In his testimony, Cosby described sexual encounters with a string of actresses, fashions and different younger ladies and talked about acquiring Quaaludes to provide to these he needed to sleep with.
Cosby’s first trial in 2017 ended with a hung jury. He was convicted at a retrial that opened months after the #MeToo motion had taken down such figures as Hollywood studio boss Harvey Weinstein, NBC’s Matt Lauer, actor Kevin Spacey and Sen. Al Franken.
Constand mentioned Cosby gave her what she thought have been natural capsules to ease stress, then penetrated her together with his fingers as she lay immobilized on a sofa. Cosby claimed the encounter was consensual, and his legal professionals branded her a “con artist” who framed the comic to get a giant payday — a $ three.four million US settlement she acquired over a decade in the past.
5 different accusers took the stand on the trial as a part of an effort by prosecutors to painting him as a predator.
Profession now collapsed
Cosby, whose estimated fortune as soon as topped $ 400 million, broke obstacles within the 1960s as the primary black actor to star in a community present, I Spy. He went on to superstardom as sensible and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Present, a sitcom that confirmed America a brand new type of black TV household: a heat and loving family led by two professionals, one a lawyer, the opposite a physician.
He additionally discovered success together with his Saturday morning cartoon Fats Albert, appeared in commercials for Jell-O pudding and have become a public moralist, lecturing the black neighborhood about younger folks stealing issues and sporting dishevelled pants. He gained a Presidential Medal of Freedom and numerous Emmys, Golden Globes and Grammy awards.
Because the allegations mounted, his profession all however collapsed, The Cosby Present reruns have been taken off the air, and one faculty after one other stripped him of his honorary levels.