Bill Cosby Sentenced to 3-10 Years in Sexual Assault Case

Comedian convicted last April in Pennsylvania of three counts of aggravated indecent assault

Bill Cosby Sentencing
Mark Makela / Getty Images

Bill Cosby was sentenced Tuesday to three-to-ten years in a state correctional institution, after being found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault in April, which stemmed from the accusation of former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who said that the comedian drugged and molested her at his Pennsylvania home in 2004.

“Evidence is overwhelming that it was planned predation,” said Judge Steven O’Neill in making his ruling. “This is a serious sexual assault.”

O’Neill also ruled that Cosby fit the definition of a “sexually violent predator.” That classification means that Cosby must undergo lifetime counseling and report quarterly to authorities. His name will also appear on a sex-offender registry sent to neighbors, schools and victims.

Cosby’s request for bail was denied by O’Neill and is being transported to state prison.

The initial trial ended in a mistrial in July 2017 after the jury was unable to reach a verdict following five days of deliberations. Cosby, 81, had been out on a $1 million bond, though he was confined to his home. Each of the three counts carried a maximum sentence of 10 years.

In June, Cosby fired his legal team, which had been led by Tom Mesereau, and instead hired West Chester, Pennsylvania-based criminal trial lawyer, Joseph P. Green Jr.

During the re-trial, jurors heard testimony from Constand, as well as five other Cosby accusers, including model Janice Dickinson, who testified that the comedian raped her in Lake Tahoe, California in 1982.

Constand testified in detail, saying that she had a sip of wine and was given three blue pills by Cosby, after which she “began to see double vision,” adding that her legs became rubbery and she began to slur her words.

Constand told the court that at one point she “jolted awake” and “felt my breasts being touched,” adding that the comedian put her hand on his penis and masturbated.

Cosby had maintained that his interaction with Constand was consensual and that he had given her Benadryl in an effort to help her relax.

Cosby’s defense sought to highlight what it believed to be inconsistencies in Constand’s accounts of the incident and painted her as a “con artist” and a “pathological liar” during opening and closing arguments.

During sentencing proceedings on Monday, a state board psychiatrist who testified regarding the question of whether Cosby should be classified as a “sexually violent offender,” the Associated Press reported.

Testifying in a Pennsylvania courtroom, Kristen Dudley told the court that evidence indicates that Cosby has an urge to violate women that he’s unable to control.

During Monday’s testimony, Dudley said that Cosby’s assault of Constand matched a predatory behavioral pattern for Cosby.

Cosby’s legal team maintained that the Pennsylvania law that would allow Cosby to be classified as a sexually violent offender was unconstitutional.

On Monday, Constand also briefly testified, saying that she is seeking “justice as the court sees fit.”