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Bill Cosby a 'sexually violent predator', court hears

Bill Cosby a 'sexually violent predator', court hears

The felony counts were connected to a 2004 incident between Cosby and former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who testified that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his Philadelphia home.

Tuesday's sentencing was a reckoning accusers and prosecutors said was decades in the making for the once-beloved entertainer known for his role as wise and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-ranked, 1980s-era "Cosby Show".

In a statement submitted to the court and released on Tuesday, Constand, 45, said she had to cope with years of anxiety and self-doubt. The designation means that Cosby, who is legally blind, will be subject to lifetime reporting requirements, meaning that he will have to advise law enforcement authorities of where he is residing.

According to Variety, Cosby remained seated and showed no emotion as his sentence was handed down.

Another Cosby accuser in the courtroom, Lili Bernard, said, "Maybe this will send a message to other powerful perpetrators that they will be caught and punished".

He says the comedian's lawyers wouldn't let him discuss certain matters, including the sexual assault that led to his conviction or his admission that he gave quaaludes to women before sex.

Cosby declined the opportunity to address the court before the judge retreated to his chambers around noon to weigh the sentence.

Prosecutors had demanded 5 to 10 years, after the three counts of aggravated indecent assault were merged into one, saving him a theoretically maximum sentence of 30 years.

"It is time for justice", Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill said in sentencing on Tuesday.

Last week, Cosby's wife, Camille Cosby, filed a state ethics complaint this week accusing O'Neill of bias against her husband because of what she called his feud with a former prosecutor who testified in an early 2016 pretrial hearing.

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Following the conviction, Carnegie Mellon University announced that it was revoking an honorary degree it awarded to Cosby back in May of 2007.

During the sentencing hearing, which began on Monday in the US, Judge O'Neill heard from both the defense and the prosecution, as well as testimony and victim impact statements from the women, who have accused Cosby.

Cosby's attorney, Joseph Green, says this case was tried in the court of public opinion.

Several of Cosby's victims arrived to court for the sentencing, including supermodel Janice Dickinson.

Steel said that Cosby has "been able to hide his true self" for decades. Cosby, 81, once considered to be "America's Dad", had no witnesses testify in his defense today.

Jurors convicted Cosby of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand without consent, while she was impaired and after incapacitating her.

Constand, who is now a massage therapist in Canada, testified during the trial in April and in an earlier trial a year ago that ended with a hung jury, that she had become friends with Cosby, and viewed him as a mentor.

Defence lawyer Joseph Green Jr. urged the judge ignore the protests and activism surrounding the case, and send Cosby home on house arrest.

"Three blue pills. And he put his hand out and I said, 'What are those?' And he said, 'They'll help you relax, '" Constand recalled to NBC's Kate Snow.


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