Bill Cosby sentenced to state prison | Sunday Observer

Bill Cosby sentenced to state prison

A judge in Pennsylvania has jailed US comedian Bill Cosby for three to 10 years for sexual assault.

Cosby, 81, was also categorised as a sexually violent predator, meaning he must undergo counselling for life and be listed on the sex offender registry. The actor declined to make a statement when offered the opportunity.

At a retrial in April, Cosby was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004.

Cosby’s request for bail pending appeal was denied. He was also fined $25,000 (£19,000) plus the prosecution costs.

After the sentencing, he was led away in handcuffs from the courtroom. He was then driven to Montgomery County Correctional Facility.

Cosby’s attorney had asked for his sentence to be restricted to house arrest, saying he was too frail for prison.

The actor had been under house arrest since April. The comedian became a household name in 1980s America when he starred in the Cosby Show TV sitcom, playing the father in a well-to-do African-American family living in Brooklyn, New York.

Such was his popularity that he was dubbed “America’s Dad”.

Bill Cosby showed little emotion and no remorse during his sentencing. At this defining moment in his life, there were no family members or former cast mates with him for moral support.

The court was filled, though, with several of his accusers who sat in the rows behind Andrea Constand.

Model Janice Dickenson clapped her hands in anticipation and joy, others quietly held hands. Their relief was evident when his sentence was finally read out. This was a moment they never thought possible. And they had front seats to witness it.

Cosby can apply for parole after three years - such a request would be reviewed by a special committee.

However, he could end up serving the maximum 10-year-sentence.