Published: Wed, September 26, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Cosby prosecutor asks for 5 to 10 years in prison

Cosby prosecutor asks for 5 to 10 years in prison

Cosby removed his watch, tie and jacket and walked out with hands cuffed in front of him.

The court in Norristown, Pennsylvania, has scheduled two days for the sentencing, to give witnesses the opportunity to speak before the judge.

Former Temple University women's basketball administrator Andrea Constand testified that Cosby knocked her out with pills, then molested her during an encounter at his home in 2004. It was the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

Sentencing guidelines indicate Cosby, 81, could face 22 months to 36 months in prison, with the possibility of an additional 12 months due to aggravating or mitigating circumstances. However, Cosby's defense attorney, Joseph Green, argued that he is too old and frail to serve time behind bars, and instead recommended he be placed in a detention or rehabilitation facility.

Prosecutors asked for the maximum prison sentence, citing the nature of Cosby's crime as well as his alleged history of misconduct. The state wanted Cosby's sentencing to involve registering as an SVP, but Cosby's defense argued against it, one reason named because it could impact his ability to visit with his grandchildren.

Prosecutors had hoped to have some of the other accusers address the court at sentencing to paint Cosby as a serial sexual predator deserving of prison.

The once towering figure in late 20th century American popular culture was the first black actor to grace primetime USA television has been confined to his home on a $1 million bail for almost three years.

"Obviously, the allegations are serious, and, except for his age and poor health, would normally warrant some jail time", said Samuel Stretton, a veteran defence lawyer not connected to the case.

Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for sentencing in his sexual assault trial in Norristown Pennsylvania
Image Dozens of women have made claims against Cosby

Sonia Ossorio, president of the National Organization for Women of NY, credited Cosby's accusers with helping pave the way for the #MeToo movement.

"He basically protected himself at the cost of ruining many lives", she said. "The behaviours are beyond their controls, so they are urged to act", said Kristen Dudley, of the Pennsylvania Sex Offenders Assessment Board.

Steele said Cosby could be sent to Laurel Highlands, a state prison for lower-risk inmates on the other side of the state, about 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

Her sister described Constand as "frail", "timid" and "nervous" after the assault, the opposite of her customary vibrant personality.

Many see his arrest and subsequent conviction earlier this year as a high-profile legacy of the #MeToo movement - which has seen people across the world come forward to share their stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Around 60 women, many of them onetime aspiring actresses and models, publicly branded the pioneering actor a calculating, serial predator who plied victims with sedatives and alcohol to bed them over four decades. Constand, whose testimony at trial was central to the case against Cosby, spoke for just a few moments in court.

Cosby's first trial in 2017 ended in a mistrial when jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict. He remained a Hollywood A-lister for much of the next half-century, hitting his peak in the 1980s with the top-rated "Cosby Show" as the warm, wisecracking dad, Dr. Cliff Huxtable.

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