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Bill Cosby Sentenced to Prison

On Tuesday, September 25th, actor and comedian Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to ten years in a state prison for sexually assaulting and drugging Andrea Constand in 2004. Cosby was convicted on April 26, 2018, on three counts of aggravated indecent assault following a June 2017 mistrial.

Charges were first brought against Cosby in December 2015. Cosby faced trial in Montgomery County Pennsylvania with Judge Steven O’Neill presiding over the case.

Cosby has been accused by sixty women over the course of five decades of similar crimes, but due to the statute of limitations, this was the first case to go to trial. Cosby’s conviction also marks the first high profile conviction of the #MeToo era.

On top of the prison sentence, Cosby is also to be classified as a “sexually violent predator” which consists of lifetime registration, lifetime mandatory counseling and community notification to any area he would live in. On top of that, Judge O’Neill also ordered Cosby to pay a $25,000 fine and cover the costs of prosecution.

“Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it,” Andrea Constand said in a five-page statement before the sentencing. “He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature and my trust in myself and others.”

“No one is above the law, and no one should be treated differently or disproportionally,” Judge O’Neill said during the sentencing. “This was a serious crime. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come.”

Following Cosby’s sentence, many have come forward to share their thoughts.

“We’re glad that judgment day has finally come for Mr. Cosby,” Gloria Allred, attorney and women’s rights activist said to CNN following Cosby’s sentence. “Mr. Cosby has shown no remorse and there has been no justice for many of the accusers who were barred from a court by the arbitrary time limits imposed by the statute of limitations.”

Another victim Chelan Lasha also spoke with CNN, praising Cosby’s sentence. “I am very happy to know that Mr. Cosby will do time in prison,” Lasha said. “That he is touchable, like he touched us unwillingly.”

“I’m happy that the judge sentenced Bill Cosby accordingly, and I’m grateful to Andrea for standing strong,” said Kathy McKee, an actress and one of Cosby’s victims told CNN.

Following Cosby’s conviction the advocacy organization Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network better known as RAINN praised the sentencing of Cosby.

“We are grateful that the court understood the seriousness of Cosby’s crime and sentenced him to prison,” Jodi OMear, the vice president of communications at RAINN said in a statement. “Let’s hope that the legacy of this case is that victims feel empowered to come forward, knowing that it can truly make a difference in bringing perpetrators to justice.”

During the trial however, Cosby’s team worked to frame the trial as a race issue. “They persecuted Jesus and look what happened,” Andrew Wyatt, Cosby’s spokesman said. “ I’m not saying Mr. Cosby’s Jesus, but we know what this country has done to black men for centuries,” Wyatt also called the trial “the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States.”

“For decades, the defendant has been able to hide his true self and hide his crimes using his fame and fortune,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a press conference following the sentencing. “He’s hidden behind a character he created, Dr. Cliff Huxtable. But now, finally, Bill Cosby has been unmasked, and we have seen the real man as he is headed off to prison.”