#MeToo impact: Bill Cosby due sentencing, accusers want jail

Marsha Scott
September 26, 2018

Kristen Dudley, a Pennsylvania state board psychologist, testified that Cosby has an uncontrollable urge to violate young women and would probably commit another offense if given the chance.

The sentence was expected to come on Tuesday after Judge Steven T. O'Neill decides whether Cosby should be required to register himself with state police and submit to sex-offender counselling and notification for life.

Cosby faces up to 30 years in prison. This stalled a ruling by Judge Steven O'Neill, and under state law, hits the pause button on the actual sentencing, according to Deadline. The defense requested house arrest, saying Cosby is too old and helpless to do time behind bars.

Cosby was the first celebrity to go to trial in the #MeToo era and could be the first to go to prison - perhaps for the rest of his days - after being convicted in April of violating Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

The trial, on aggravated indecent assault charges, centered on testimony from Constand and also featured testimony from five "prior bad acts" witnesses who similarly said Cosby had drugged and assaulted them. Monday's hearing drew a number of the other accusers as well as Constand, who was seated in the front row of the packed courtroom. "He's hidden behind a character created, Dr. Cliff Huxtable", Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said at a news conference, referring to Cosby's best-known role.

Levenson told NBC that this may not be the case as although he isn't considered a flight risk, he doesn't have any "clear winners" for his appeal, which his attorneys are expected to do.

"I wasn't able to fight it in any way", she told the court.

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Cosby's first trial in 2017 ended with a hung jury.

Surrounded by her family, Constand addressed the court in a loud, clear voice for roughly a minute as Cosby, 81, sat nearby. The 80-year-old is facing a maximum of 10 years in prison for each charge, but could receive nothing more than probation. Prosecutors hope to call other accusers to paint Cosby as a sexual predator deserving of prison. Other than agreeing to a sentencing for Cosby, lawyers will also battle over whether he will be designated a sexually violent predator.

"Bill Cosby seeing the inside of a prison cell sends a strong message that predators - no matter who they are, from Hollywood to Wall Street to the Supreme Court - can no longer be protected at the expense of victims", she said.

The once towering figure in late 20th century American popular culture was the first black actor to grace primetime USA television has been confined to his home on a $1 million bail for almost three years.

Samuel Stretton, a veteran defense lawyer not connected to the case, said: "Obviously, the allegations are serious, and, except for his age and poor health, would normally warrant some jail time".

Many see his arrest and subsequent conviction earlier this year as a high-profile legacy of the #MeToo movement - which has seen people across the world come forward to share their stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Cosby became the first black actor to star in a prime-time TV show, "I Spy", in 1965.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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