WORLD Judge weighing Cosby’s sentence in sex assault

WORLD

Judge weighing Cosby’s sentence in sex assault

AP

02:21, September 26, 2018

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Bill Cosby arrives for his sentencing hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, in Norristown, Pa. (Photo: AP/Matt Slocum)

The judge in the Bill Cosby case has gone to his chambers to weigh the comedian’s punishment for a 2004 sexual assault.

Judge Steven O’Neill says he’ll announce the sentence in court at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Prosecutors are asking for five to 10 years in prison. The defense wants house arrest, but District Attorney Kevin Steele says the sentencing rules don’t allow it.

A jury convicted Cosby of drugging and molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home. Cosby was convicted after the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

The 81-year-old TV star declined to make a statement at his two-day sentencing hearing. The woman he attacked, Andrea Constand, says she’s had to cope with years of pain, anxiety and self-doubt.

A judge has ruled that Bill Cosby is a “sexually violent predator.”

The classification means that Cosby must undergo lifetime counseling and report quarterly to authorities. His name will appear on a sex-offender registry sent to neighbors, schools and victims.

Judge Steven O’Neill made the decision Tuesday as he prepares to sentence the 81-year-old comedian for drugging and molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

Prosecutors are asking for five to 10 years in prison. The defense wants Cosby sent home on house arrest.

Cosby’s lawyers had fought the “sexually violent predator” designation, arguing that Pennsylvania’s sex-offender law remains unconstitutional despite several revisions.

Andrea Constand says she’s had to cope with years of unrelenting pain, anxiety and self-doubt after Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home in 2004.

Constand writes in a victim-impact statement released Tuesday that Cosby’s 2004 attack on her was just “the tip of the iceberg” for the suffering that followed.

Constand says her training as a professional basketball player had led her to think she could handle anything, but “life as I knew it” ended on the night that Cosby knocked her out with pills and violated her.

She says the Cosby team’s subsequent attacks on her character left her with “insurmountable stress and anxiety.”

Constand says she now lives alone with her two dogs, “stuck in a holding pattern” as a middle-aged woman because she has trouble trusting people.

A defense psychologist says the chances that Bill Cosby will commit another sex offense are “extraordinarily low” because he’s old, legally blind and needs help getting around.

Psychologist Timothy Foley testified Tuesday at the 81-year-old comedian’s sentencing hearing. A judge must decide whether to classify Cosby as a “sexually violent predator,” which would make him subject to mandatory lifetime counseling and community notification. The defense is fighting the designation.

Foley met with Cosby in July to conduct a risk assessment. 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. Prosecutors questioned whether Foley got a complete picture of Cosby’s alleged deviance.

The judge is expected to sentence Cosby later Tuesday.

Bill Cosby doesn’t plan to make a statement in court before he’s sentenced for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman.

Cosby returned to a suburban Philadelphia courthouse Tuesday to learn his fate for the 2004 attack. Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt says the 81-year-old comedian plans to remain silent in court. Cosby didn’t testify at either of his two trials.

Prosecutors are asking for a sentence of five to 10 years in prison. His attorney wants the judge to send Cosby home on house arrest, saying he’s too old and frail for prison.

The only defense witness expected to testify Tuesday is a psychologist who believes Cosby is no longer a danger, given his age, and should not be branded a “sexually violent predator.”

Bill Cosby faces a good chance of being sent to prison Tuesday when a judge is expected to sentence the TV star who was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman.

The once-beloved actor and comedian, dubbed “America’s Dad” for his role on the “Cosby Show,” faces anything from probation to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors near Philadelphia want a judge to sentence the 81-year-old to five to 10 years in prison. They say he has no remorse and is capable of reoffending.

The defense argues that he’s old, frail and legally blind, and should be sent home on house arrest.

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