Disgraced comedian Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison Tuesday for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004 at his Pennsylvania home, multiple outlets report.
As he handed down his decision, Judge Steven T. O’Neill told Cosby, 81, at a Montgomery County, Pennsylvania courthouse that his “time has come.”
“This was a serious crime,” O’Neill told him. “Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come.”
He added, “Nobody is above the law because of where they live, who they are, wealth, fame, celebrity or even philanthropy.”
In addition, O’Neill labeled him a “sexually violent predator.” He will now have to register as such with state police for the rest of his life, as well as take part in lifetime sex offender counseling, and his name will appear on the registry sent to schools, neighbors and victims.
The judge rejected Cosby’s defense lawyers’ request to allow him to remain free on bail.
Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison.
— Montgomery County DA (@MontcopaDA) September 25, 2018
In April, he was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault and was placed on house arrest until his sentencing.
Psychologist Kristen Dudley, a member of the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, told the court that the octogenarian should be labeled a “sexually violent predator” because he has a mental disorder that consists of impulses toward non-consenting women, CNN reported. “The behaviors are beyond their controls, so they are urged to act on it. He is likely to re-offend,” Dudley said.
Cosby initially faced up to 30 years in prison, but prosecutors and the defense agreed to merge the charges against the comedian, who now faces a maximum of 10 years.
The defense team argued on Monday that Cosby should receive a lenient sentence because of his age, diminishing health and his years of philanthropy.
Roland Martin, the host of #RolandMartinUnfiltered Daily Digital Show, told EBONY that Cosby will be remembered for his criminal conviction rather than this country’s “most beloved iconic figures.”
“The fall from the stratosphere of Bill Cosby is complete. Once one of America’s most beloved and iconic figures will now be seen and remembered in a completely different light as a result of his sexual assault conviction and now as he heads to prison,” Martin said in a statement.
Adding, “for all of his historic work as a groundbreaking pioneer in Hollywood and commitment to historically Black colleges and the arts, it is still stunning to hear Bill Cosby referred to as a “violent sexual predator.”
Cosby, who was known as “America’s Dad” following his iconic role on The Cosby Show, has seen a fall from grace since renewed sexual assault allegations surfaced four years ago.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.