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Cosby Sentenced to 3 to 10 Years in State Prison, Denied Bail

The sentence, connected to Cosby’s molestation of a Temple University employee in 2004, represents the first major conviction of a disgraced icon amid the weighty #MeToo movement.


bill cosby sentence

Bill Cosby departs after receiving his sentence at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Bill Cosby is going to prison.

Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Steven T. O’Neill sentenced Cosby to 3 to 10 years in state prison on Tuesday for drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home in Cheltenham in 2004.

Cosby was convicted in April on three counts of aggravated indecent assault related to the incident, following a nearly three-year courtroom clash.

Montgomery County district attorney Kevin R. Steele had sought the maximum 10-year term. A 3-to-10-year sentence means Cosby, 81, could very well spend the rest of his life behind bars in a Pennsylvania prison.

The court released Constand’s full victim statement on Tuesday, in which she wrote that Cosby “took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it.” You can read the full statement here.

The verdict is surely felt by the more than 50 women who have accused the once-beloved comedian of sexual abuse. Nine other women who accused Cosby were present in the courtroom on Tuesday and witnessed the sentencing.

Defense lawyers had sought to secure bail for Cosby while his conviction is appealed — a wish that O’Neill refused on Tuesday, stating that the nature of the 2004 crime “indicates that [Cosby] could quite possibly be a danger to the community,” according to the Associated Press.

Several hours before the verdict, O’Neill ruled Cosby a “sexually violent predator,” a title which requires him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and consequently receive monthly treatment or counseling.

Cosby, who reportedly appeared emotionless throughout the sentencing and has denied the allegations, is to head straight to the Montgomery County jail in Lower Providence Township, where he will await transportation to the State Correctional Institution in Collegeville, according to Philly.com. Eventually he will be evaluated and placed within the state prison system.

The sentencing represents the first major conviction of a disgraced icon amid the weighty #MeToo movement.

Over the years, Philadelphia magazine has chronicled Crosby’s decline, at times advancing the story and knowledge of the accusations against the comedian. Here are a few of those stories, organized chronologically, from 2006 to 2017.