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Impact

Bill Cosby Sentenced to 3 to 10 Years for Sexual Assault

Bill Cosby has been sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for three counts of sexual assault in 2004, the Associated Press reports.

The sentence came down after the April decision against the former Cosby Show actor, in a case brought forth by former Temple University basketball coach Andrea Constand. Constand, an out lesbian, accused Cosby of assaulting her in his Philadelphia home in January of 2004.

The judge in the case, Steven O’Neill, denied the 81-year-old comedian bail.

“Mr. Cosby, you took her beautiful healthy young spirit and crushed it,” the judge said at the sentencing, according to BBC News.

Cosby’s lawyers attempted to argue that because of his age, the comedian is not a threat. O’Neill was not swayed, however. Following two days of debate over the label at Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County Courthouse, the judge deemed Cosby a “sexually violent predator.”

That classification means Cosby will be listed on the sex offender registry following his release and required to undergo counseling for the rest of his life.

During the trial, Constand described the assault in detail, including being drugged with what Cosby told her were “herbal supplements.” The 45-year-old told the court he used his hand to masturbate while she laid there “paralyzed and completely helpless,” fading in and out of consciousness.

“I wanted it to stop,” Constand said. “I couldn’t say anything. I was trying to get my hands to move, my legs to move and the message just wasn’t getting there.”

“I was weak, I was limp, and I couldn’t fight him off,” she added.

In an impact statement submitted to the court, Constand detailed the years of trauma she experienced as a result of the assault. When the incident occurred in 2004, she described “herself as a young woman brimming with confidence and looking forward to a bright future with possibilities.”

“Now, almost 15 years later, I’m a middle-aged woman who has been stuck in a holding pattern for most of her adult life, unable to heal or fully move on,” Constand claimed.

Judge O’Neill acknowledged that harm in Tuesday’s sentencing.

“I don’t know whether the defendant read your statement,” he said. “I did. I heard the very clear impact in your voice.”

Five other women submitted testimony to the court, although they did not testify as witnesses during the trial. Over a span of nearly four decades, more than 60 women — including former supermodel Janice Dickinson — say that Cosby drugged and assaulted them. Dickinson reportedly laughed as the sentence was read.

A jury of seven men and five women unanimously found Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated sexual assault following a 17-day retrial.

A previous case ended in a mistrial following lack of “substantial evidence.”

Cosby’s team, however, continues to maintain the actor is innocent. Outside the courthouse, publicist Andrew Wyatt called the proceedings the most “racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States.”

“They persecuted Jesus and look what happened,” Wyatt said.

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