Comedian Bill Cosby has been sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for sexual assault. Cosby, 81, has also been 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 a judge gave him 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.
Judge Steven O’Neill has also denied Cosby’s request for bail pending appeal. After delivering the sentence, Judge O’Neill said: “Mr Cosby you took her beautiful healthy young spirit and crushed it.”
He told Constand he “heard the very clear impact” the assault had on her life. Ahead of the sentence, the judge designated Cosby a sexually violent predator, despite the defence’s argument that Cosby’s age and blindness mean he is not a threat.
Tuesday’s classification means he will need to register with state police and notify any community he lives in of his sex offender status, as well as undergo mandatory counselling for life.
Neighbours, childcare centres and schools will have be notified of the whereabouts of the entertainer once known as America’s Dad.
The actor’s defence team had argued the state’s sex offender law was too severe given Cosby’s age and the fact that he is legally blind.
The disgraced comedian’s two-day hearing at Montgomery County Courthouse in Pennsylvania began on Monday with legal debate over the violent predator label. (BBC)