After multiple allegations, lengthy court battles, and several years of maintaining his innocence, Bill Cosby's trial has reached a verdict. Today, Cosby was handed a sentence of three to ten years in state prison for sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. Cosby has also been declared a serial sexual predator. Here's what you need to know about the case and the circumstances that led to this outcome.
In 2004, Andrea Constand accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her. Cosby allegedly drugged Constand and then proceeded to rape her. Cosby was accused of penetrating Constand while she was intoxicated. While speaking with a news anchor on CNN, Cosby's lawyer stated that the deposition indicates a different story. She stated that while many "want to believe" that Cosby drugged Constand with quaaludes, the deposition states that Constand willingly ingested medicinal pills after complaining of pains. After Cosby gave her over-the-counter pain medication, Constand supposedly fell asleep and Cosby allegedly raped her.
Constand's original allegation resulted in Cosby walking away with no charges brought against him. Shortly thereafter, Constand filed a civil suit against Cosby. For the past 14 years, this long legal battle has garnered much attention from the media. Constand's allegation led to more allegations of sexual assault against Cosby. Cosby was accused of sexually assaulting over 60 women from 1965 to 2008.
In 2017, Cosby was on trial for his alleged assault against Constand. It resulted in a hung jury. The retrial began in April 2018, however, and has finally ended with a guilty verdict. He faced 30 years in prison on three accounts of sexual assault. However, the judge decided to consolidate each sentence into one. Now, Cosby, once labeled "America's Dad," is labeled a violent serial sexual predator and is facing three to ten years in prison. This label is accompanied by many guidelines that Cosby will have to adhere to.
Cosby, now 81 years old, will have to receive counseling monthly for the rest of his life. He will also have to notify authorities on a quarterly basis for the rest of his life. Additionally, he will appear on a sex-offender registry which will be sent to neighbors, schools, and victims of sexual assault.
The judge has yet to hand down his official sentence. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, however, "...requests that this Court impose a sentence of 5 to 10 years' imprisonment, a $25,000 fine, and costs of prosecution." Cosby's legal team asked for a house arrest sentencing because of his blindness and advanced age. They stated that Cosby poses no threat to anyone because of his physical health.
Cosby walked out of the courthouse today in handcuffs for all to see. His accusor, Constand, smiled after the verdict was handed down to Cosby. Many of Cosby's accusors are happy as they feel justice is being served. Activists and supporters of the #MeToo Movement herald this moment as a victory. Cosby's guilty verdict is the first conviction of a high-profile Hollywood superstar during the #MeToo era. Now, the public awaits the guilty verdicts of other alleged high-profile sexual predators, like Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, and Brett Kavanaugh.