Disgraced entertainer Bill Cosby will be sentenced Tuesday on the indecent sexual assault charges he was convicted of in April.
The Cosby sentencing hearing on his sexual assault conviction began on Monday with legal arguments by attorneys and victim-impact statements by victim Andrea Constand and her family, but sentence will not be handed down until Tuesday after further proceedings.
Montgomery County DA Kevin Steele argued for Cosby to get a maximum sentence of five to 10 years in prison – citing the fact that Cosby has never apologized or shown remorse for his actions. Steele said Cosby didn’t seem to think drugging and molesting women was wrong.
“He seemingly doesn’t recognize that that’s wrong. That it’s wrong to sexually assault someone and drug them,” Steele said during sentencing arguments, the Inquirer reported.
Cosby’s attorney Joseph Green argued for leniency or a sentence such as house arrest, citing Cosby’s age, blindness and destroyed reputation as factors.
During victim-impact statements, Andrea Constand spoke very briefly, simply telling the court the hand down “justice as the court sees fit.”
The legally blind Cosby, 81, currently remains on house arrest in his Cheltenham mansion, pending the sentencing on the indecent sexual assault charges he was convicted of in April at his second trial. He could face a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Cosby’s fate is in the hands of Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven T. O’Neill – who Cosby’s lawyers previously tried to boot from the trial twice, and who Cosby’s wife accused of being corrupt and unethical. (O’Neill rejected the recusal motions.) O’Neill announced Monday that he will merge the three counts Cosby was convicted of into one count for sentencing purposes, per an agreement with defense and prosecution.
But O’Neill delayed sentencing until Tuesday, pending the conclusion of a related hearing on whether Cosby must register as a violent sex offender.
Cosby a sexual ‘predator’?
Cosby has been accused by some 60 women of sexual misconduct and assault over the last few years, and after his conviction, Montco prosecutors sought his state designation as a violent sexual predator.
Early Monday, the court heard expert testimony from a therapist from the state Sexual Offender Assessment Board, who asserted that Cosby does the qualifications of a “predator” who is likely to re-offend.
Specifically, Dr. Kristen Dudley said that Cosby has a “mental abnormality,” which she called a “paraphilic disorder,” specifically, that he is attracted to “non-consenting women,” reports say.
Dudley rejected defense arguments that Cosby was elderly, blind, and that no new allegations have been made against him since 2004.
“He is an esteemed member of the community and is able to meet and befriend people,” Dudley said. “Being blind does not stop him from meeting people.”
The sentencing was delayed pending testimony by a defense psychologist, who is expected to testify on the sex-offender registration question on Tuesday morning. If Cosby is deemed a predator by the state, he will be required to attend monthly counseling sessions and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.Dozens of police officers, county detectives and court officers were on the scene in Norristown providing security for Cosby, whose trial has brought one of the most high-profile media circuses in the nation to Montgomery County for previous court dates and the duration of his trial.While fans as well as foes have shown up to watch Cosby’s appearances outside court, nothing has yet matched the drama of the first day of Cosby’s retrial, at which a bare-chested feminist protester jumped the security fence and rushed Cosby.
Additional reporting by Reuters