After a short delay, Judge Steven O’Neill handed down Bill Cosby’s sentence in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania around 2:10 PM today.
“This was a serious crime,” he said. “Mr. Cosby this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come.”
Cosby, 81, was convicted of sexual assault earlier this year. He will serve 3 to 10 years in state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in his home 14 years ago.
Under this sentence, Cosby must serve at least 3 years in state prison before is is eligible for parole. If parole is not granted, Cosby may remain in prison for no longer than 10 years.
Kathy McKee, one of Cosby’s accusers, said she was pleased to hear that Cosby was “sentenced accordingly.
“The victims cannot be un-raped. Unfortunately, all we can do is hold the perpetrator accountable,” said the victim’s mother, Gianna Constand.
WARNING: The following paragraphs include a graphic description of sexual assault.
Andrea Constand testified that she was drugged and sexually assualted during a visit to Cosby’s home in 2004. In her testimony, Constand explained that she had been suffering under the stress of a career change after she had begun working as the operations manager of the women’s basketball team at Temple University. Cosby provided pills she believed to be herbal supplements intended to help manage stress.
After taking the pills, Constand lost consciousness. She awoke in a haze and felt Cosby penetrate her with his fingers while he used her hand to help him masturbate. Under the effects of the drug, Constand was unable to move or fight back. “I was frozen,” she told the jury.
Cosby’s Future As A Registered Sex Offender
“Despite bullying tactics, despite PR teams and other folks trying to change the optics, as one lawyer for the defense put it, the bottom line is that nobody’s above the law. Nobody,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele to CBS News.
The sentencing came just hours after Judge O’Neill ruled to be designated as a “sexually violent predator.”
Cosby waived allocution, his right to a formal statement to the court, and listened as the court outlined the conditions of his registration as a sex offender. Cosby will be required to undergo lifetime counseling and report to authorities four times each year. His name will be added to the sex-offender registry, which will be sent to neighborhoods, schools, and his victims.
Cosby has been fined $25,000 and will be required to pay for court costs.