NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) – Bill Cosby was marched out of cloister in shackles on Tuesday afterwards a adjudicator branded him a “predator” and bedevilled him to amid three and 10 years in bastille for animal assault, capping the atrophy of the once-beloved actor accepted as “America’s Dad.”
Cosby, 81, was begin accusable in April of three counts of aggravated blue advance for the drugging and animal advance of his ancient acquaintance Andrea Constand, a above Temple University administrator, at his Philadelphia home in 2004.
He is the aboriginal celebrity to be bedevilled of animal corruption aback the alpha of the #MeToo movement, the civic reckoning with delinquency that has brought bottomward dozens of able men in entertainment, backroom and added fields.
Cosby charge absorb at atomic three years in a Pennsylvania bastille afore he becomes acceptable for supervised release, admitting he could end up abaft confined for up to a decade.
Montgomery Canton Cloister of Common Pleas Adjudicator Steven O’Neill ordered Cosby to be confined immediately, abstinent Cosby’s abode for bond while attorneys abode the conviction.
He was escorted out a aback aperture of the courthouse with his easily and anxiety shackled and apprenticed abroad in a atramentous action account vehicle.
Minutes earlier, Constand larboard cloister with her accoutrements folded, a smile overextension beyond her face as added women who accept accused Cosby came to hug her. Several of those women batten to reporters in the rain alfresco the courtroom.
“I capital 30 years, but I’m actual blessed to apperceive Mr. Cosby will do time in prison,” said Chelan Lasha, who gave bawling affidavit in cloister about the time she says Cosby benumbed and groped her in the 1980s.
O’Neill additionally fined Cosby $25,000 and ordered him to pay the costs of the prosecution. There was no arresting acknowledgment from the ashamed amateur as he abstruse his fate.
“Equal amends beneath the law does not acquiesce altered analysis because of who he is or who he was,” O’Neill said.
Cosby anchored his family-friendly acceptability arena the amiable Dr. Cliff Huxtable in the 1980s television ball “The Cosby Show.”
“He hid abaft Dr. Cliff Huxtable,” Kevin Steele, the canton commune advocate who led the prosecution, told reporters afterwards. “Before he was taken abroad in handcuffs, a lot of bodies believed this was who he was. We apperceive otherwise.”
After the sentencing, Andrew Wyatt, Cosby’s spokesman, apprehend a diffuse account in which he decried what he alleged “the best racist and ist balloon in the history of the United States.”
O’Neill additionally absitively to baptize Cosby a “ually agitated predator” beneath Pennsylvania law.
Under that designation, Cosby will accept to abide account counseling and annals as a blackmailer with badge for the blow of his life. Neighbors and schools will be notified of his address, assertive movements and crimes, as will Constand.
When prosecutors told Cosby in cloister he would not accept to acquaint Constand of his movements himself but that a proxy would do so, he replied: “Good!”
Cosby has denied any wrongdoing. Asked if he capital to abode the cloister with a account afore sentencing, Cosby beneath through his lawyers. His attorneys had asked that Cosby be placed beneath abode arrest, citation his age and frailty.
More than 50 women accept accused Cosby of animal corruption activity aback decades, with best complaints too old to prosecute. The Constand case was the alone accusation that led to bent charges.
Constand said in a accounting account submitted to the cloister on Monday that the advance had angry her into a woman who was “stuck in a captivation arrangement for best of her developed life, clumsy to alleviate absolutely or to move forward.”
“Bill Cosby took my beautiful, advantageous adolescent spirit and ashamed it,” she wrote.
Cosby’s aboriginal balloon in 2017 concluded in a mistrial back jurors could not ability a accepted verdict.
Prison admiral will action Cosby at the adjacent accompaniment bastille in Schwenksville afore free in which of Pennsylvania’s 22 macho prisons he will serve his sentence, bastille backer Amy Worden wrote in an email.
He will be one of 86 inmates over age 80 captivated by Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections, area the two oldest inmates are both 91, Worden said.
Reporting by David DeKok; Additional advertisement by Barbara Goldberg in New York; autograph by Jonathan Allen; alteration by Meredith Mazzilli and Tom Brown
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