Bill Cosby has been sentenced to three-to-10 years imprisonment for the sexual assault of at least one woman, although dozens more have come forward. This week, he began his time behind bars in a single cell at SCI Phoenix, a newly-opened state prison that can hold nearly 4,000 inmates, but he is expected to join the general population in time.
“We are taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure Mr. Cosby’s safety and general welfare in our institution,” said Corrections Secretary John Wetzel.
Last week, a jury concluded that the 81-year-old comedian drugged and molested a woman in 2004. Cosby’s family has said that his conviction on three counts of sexual assault is unjust, and has called the trial the “most sexist and racist” trial in the history of our nation.
But Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill didn’t see it that way.
“No one is above the law. And no one should be treated disproportionately because of who they are, where they live, or even their wealth, celebrity or philanthropy,” said O’Neill, in response to his above-average sentencing. A Boston sexual assault attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been harmed by another.
More than 60 Women Have Come Forward
In April, Cosby was convicted of drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand, Temple University’s women’s basketball administrator. The conviction came after an onslaught of accusations from other women—more than 60 in total—who claim Cosby assaulted them. The accusations span a period of five decades. So far, Constand’s case is the only one to go to trial.
Advocates for women’s rights see Cosby’s tough prison sentence as a pivotal #MeToo moment.
“Bill Cosby seeing the inside of a prison cell sends a strong message that predators — no matter who they are, from Hollywood to Wall Street to the Supreme Court — can no longer be protected at the expense of victims,” said the National Organization for Women of New York’s president, Sonia Ossorio.
In addition to the potential for up to 10 years behind bars, Cosby must serve a minimum of three years before he is eligible for parole. In addition, Cosby was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine, and his designation as a “sexually violent predator” means he will have to get regular counseling even after his release, and schools and other such institutions will need to be notified of his whereabouts if he moves to the area.
Cosby Drugged His Victims
According to Constand’s testimony, Cosby gave her “herbal” pills to ease stress, but the pills actually contained a strong drug that made her completely unable to move as he began to penetrate her with his fingers. After Constand was awarded a $3.4 million settlement, Cosby’s attorneys accused his victim of being a “con artist” who just wanted a big payday.
Constand reported the assault to police about a year after the alleged incident occurred. But the district attorney refused to take the case. A decade later, another district attorney reopened the file and charged “America’s favorite dad” with sexual assault. A MA sexual assault lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been sexually assaulted or abused.
In this most recent trial, five other women came forward as part of the prosecution’s effort to portray the television star as a serial predator. Cosby admitted to giving quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with.
Altman & Altman, LLP—Boston’s Top Sexual Assault Law Firm
If you have been sexually assaulted, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of victims of sexual assault for decades. Our experienced, compassionate attorneys understand that these cases are highly sensitive. We will ensure that you fully understand your rights and options before moving forward with a legal strategy, and we’ll be by your side throughout the entire process. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.