NORRISTOWN, PA — A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that Bill Cosby is a “sexually violent predator.”
The disgraced comedian has been sentenced to no less than three years and no more than 10 years in a state facility. He will also be fined $25,000, must pay any prosecutorial and court costs, and is allowed no contact with Andrea Constand. Cosby was found guilty of drugging and molesting former Temple University women’s basketball coach Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.
The Montgomery County District Attorney, Kevin Steele, called for five to 10 years in jail for aggravated indecent assault — while Cosby’s defense team argued in favor of house arrest. But Judge Steven O’Neill addressed Cosby in court, saying, “It is time for justice, Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The day has come. The time has come.”
The 81-year-old who used to be known as “America’s Dad” will appear on the sex offenders’ registry and undergo mandatory counseling for life.
Cosby was arrested in 2015, and his first day in court on these charges ended in a hung jury and a mistrial in 2017. At a retrial in April, Cosby was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault against Constand.
The classification means he will need to register with state police and notify any community he lives in of his sex offender status. Neighbors and nearby schools will also be notified of his status.
Cosby’s attorneys had argued that the state’s sex offender law was too harsh, and said that Cosby’s age and the fact that he is legally blind make him unlikely to assault anyone else. But expert witness Dr. Kristen Dudley disagreed. She said that Cosby showed signs of a mental disorder and was likely to reoffend.
Dudley, a psychologist and member of the Pennsylvania Sex Offenders Assessment Board who assessed Cosby on the sexually violent predator classification, said in court that she “came to the conclusion that Mr. Cosby does in fact fit the criteria” of a sexually violent predator — and that his offenses are “likely to reoccur.”
“Using his power and prestige within the community, [Cosby] is able to meet people, befriend them, and it is during that friendship that the sexual assault occurs,” she said.
In June 2017, Constand testifed that she thought of Cosby as a “mentor.” After arriving at his residence, she said that he gave her pills that left her “frozen” while he sexually assaulted her.
In Constand’s impact statement, which was provided to reporters by the prosecution team on Tuesday, she said: “To truly understand the impact that the sexual assault has had on my life, you have to understand the person that I was before it happened.”
She wrote that she went from being a young woman “brimming with confidence” to someone who could not eat, sleep, or socialize with friends. “Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it. He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature, and my trust in myself and others,” she said.
Cosby reportedly paid Constand $3.4 million as part of a civil lawsuit settlement in 2006.