A Pennsylvania judge, Steven O’Neill, has sentenced comedian Bill Cosby between three and 10 years after describing him as a “sexually violent predator” during court proceedings on Tuesday.
Cosby was convicted for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman over a decade ago.
The 81-year-old was sentenced in a Philadelphia courtroom for the attack on former basketball administrator Andrea Constand at his home in 2004. He was convicted in April on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
Popularly known as the first “celebrity trial of the #MeToo era,” Cosby’s case kick-started several allegations of sex abuse against Hollywood stars, including Harvey Weinstein.
Cosby’s 2-day hearing in Norristown, Pennsylvania, was attended by many women who accused him of sexual assault, including Andrea Constand, the first claimant.
“This defendant is designated a sexually violent predator,” ABC News quoted O’Neill as saying from the bench before announcing Cosby’s sentence.
The judge asked Joseph Green, defense attorney for Cosby, if the accused person wanted to make a statement before the sentencing. Cosby declined.
Cosby reportedly maintained good composure in court while answering series of questions prepared to ascertain his understanding of the implications and consequences of being a “sexually violent predator.”
Pennsylvania state law defines a person with such a designation has “a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in predatory sexually violent offenses.” The consequences of such a designation are severe and lifelong.
According to prosecutor M. Stuart Ryan, being a sexually violent predator means Cosby will be required by law to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. This designation will also subject him to the most stringent measures that are fit for a sex offender.
At a point during the interrogations, Cosby interrupted Ryan with a question.
“If I went from the city to another city … even if it’s just overnight, do I have to get in touch with the state police?”
Ryan advised Cosby to seek the counsel of his attorneys.