Saturday 15 December, 2018

Bill Cosby prosecutor asks for 5 to 10 years in prison

Bill Cosby arrives for his sentencing hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

Bill Cosby arrives for his sentencing hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

Prosecutors on Monday asked a judge to sentence Bill Cosby to five to 10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman, while his lawyer argued that the 81-year-old comedian is too old and frail to serve time behind bars.

"What does an 81-year-old man do in prison?" defense attorney Joseph Green asked on Day 1 of the sentencing hearing for the comic, who is legally blind and dependent on others. "How does he fight off the people who are trying to extort him, or walk to the mess hall?"

Green suggested that Cosby instead be placed in a detention or rehabilitation facility or be put under something akin to house arrest.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said that Cosby, even at his advanced age, is still capable of slipping women drugs and assaulting them. And he said the sentence should send a message to others.

"Despite bullying tactics, despite PR teams and other folks trying to change the optics, as one lawyer for the defense put it, the bottom line is that nobody's above the law. Nobody," he said.

Judge Steven O'Neill is expected to sentence Cosby on Tuesday. The TV star once known was America's Dad for his starring role in "The Cosby Show" could become the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to be sent to prison.

Cosby was convicted in April of violating former Temple University women's basketball administrator Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004.

After testifying for several hours at two trials, the first of which ended in a hung jury, Constand spoke in court Monday for just two minutes.

"The jury heard me. Mr. Cosby heard me. Now, all I am asking for, is justice as the court sees fit," said Constand, who submitted a much longer victim-impact statement that wasn't read in court.

The charges carry up to 30 years in prison, though state sentencing guidelines call for about one to four years behind bars.

The judge is also expected to decide whether to declare Cosby a "sexually violent predator" — a scarlet letter that would make him subject to mandatory lifetime counseling and community notification of his whereabouts.

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

 


 

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