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Bill Cosby Sentenced To 3 To 10 Years In Jail

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Bill Cosby, 81, the comedian known for his starring role on The Cosby Show, was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for raping ex-basketball player Andrea Constand, 44, in 2004.

Cosby's maximum sentence was originally up to 30 years behind bars, but when his three charges were combined during sentencing it was reduced to just 10.

Prosecutors asked for a sentence of five to 10 years, while Cosby's attorneys argued that would be too severe because of his poor health.

Judge Steven T. O'Neill also declared Cosby to be a "sexually violent predator," which will require him to register with Philadelphia state police, and submit to counselling and notification as a sex offender for life.

Neighbors and nearby childcare centers and schools will need to be notified of Cosby's whereabouts.

"This was a serious crime," the judge said during sentencing. "Mr. Cosby this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come."

Cosby was convicted of drugging and raping Constand in April, after his legal team’s defense that Constand was fabricating her allegations failed to win over his jury.

At his initial trial last year, Cosby’s first jury was deadlocked. But following his retrial this year, it took just 14 hours of deliberation for the new jury to convict him on three counts of sexual assault (which were merged into one count during sentencing).

During his sentencing, Cosby's legal team argued that his age and blindness should be taken into account, and tried to whittle his sentence down from years of jail time to house arrest.

Constand took to the witness stand for just a few minutes during the proceedings, but submitted a lengthy victim impact statement asking for “justice as the court sees fit.”

Dr. Kristen Dudley, a clinical psychologist and one of the authors of a report on Cosby by the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, pushed for the comic to be labeled a sexually violent predator during the hearing.

She testified that Cosby has a mental disorder that attracts him to non-consenting women, and that “he is likely to re-offend.”

While Cosby did not cooperate with the Assessment Board’s review, it drew on investigation documents, trial transcripts, and law enforcement interviews with Cosby and other witnesses in the case.

Cosby’s legal team called their own psychologist, Timothy Foley, who argued the former TV star had “extremely low” odds of re-offending because he is “81, blind, has been convicted of a sex offense and will be supervised.”

Constand, who once thought of Cosby as her “mentor,” was the first woman to publicly accuse the entertainer of sexual assault.

But more than 60 other women - including celebrities like Janice Dickinson - quickly followed suit.

Five women who claim they were drugged by Cosby, including Dickinson and three others who claim they were also sexually assaulted by him, testified against Cosby during his second trial.

After inviting her to his mansion in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, Constand said that Cosby drugged and raped her.

Constand later led a class action lawsuit of 13 women who claimed they had been abused by Cosby, which was settled out of court in 2006.

Unsealed depositions from that civil court case, which included Cosby’s confession to purchasing Quaaludes to drug women with, helped to open the criminal investigation which eventually led to Cosby’s conviction this year.

So far, Constand’s case is the only criminal case brought against Cosby, as the statute of limitations has passed on many other alleged incidents.

Cosby's defense said earlier they plan to appeal his conviction.

[H/T: People, BuzzFeed News, CNN]

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