Bill Cosby has been sentenced to serve 3-10 years in a state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand.
Additionally, Cosby, 81, must now register as a sex offender, which means he has to undergo mandatory counselling and notify any neighbours and nearby schools of his registration status. He was also ordered to pay a $25,000 fine on top of the prosecution fees.
CNN reported that Judge Steven O’Neill, when handing down his ruling, said: “No one is above the law, and no one should be treated differently or disproportionally”.
Cosby’s defense team unsuccessfully petitioned for house arrest and their request for bail was also denied. The disgraced comedian – once known as ‘America’s dad’ – was led away from the courtroom in handcuffs and will begin serving his prison sentence immediately.
At a press conference following the sentencing, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said that Cosby had hidden behind his character Dr. Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show.
“Before Bill Cosby became a convicted felon taken away in handcuffs and began paying for his crimes, a lot of people believed that’s who he was,” he said. “He used his acting skills that endearing TV personal to win over his victims and then keep them silent about what he did to them.”
However, Cosby’s publicist Andrew Wyatt decried the sentencing, declaring the trail to be “the most racist and sexist trail in the history of the United States”.
At a retrial in April, Bill Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault – penetration with lack of consent, penetration while unconscious, and penetration after administering an intoxicant.
The comedian and actor originally faced trial last year for charges of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home 14 years ago. The trial ended in a mistrial after a jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision.