Legendary comedian Bill Cosby on Tuesday received a sentence of 3-10 years in prison after being found guilty of three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault.
While more than 60 women have accused Cosby of misconduct, his conviction is centered on the case of Andrea Constand – who claims Cosby drugged her and sexually assaulted her in 2004.
Cosby reached a $3.4 million settlement with Constand when she sued him in 2005. During the lawsuit,
“I wasn’t sure what had actually happened, but the pain spoke volumes,” said Constand. “The shame was overwhelming. Self-doubt and confusion kept me from turning to my family or friends as I normally did. I felt completely alone.”
Cosby has admitted to giving women drugs (including Quaaludes) and alcohol before sex, but insists that all interactions were consensual.
A damning designation
Cosby’s sentence comes with the designation “sexually violent predator,” which means he will appear on sex offender registries sent to neighbors and schools. Cosby, at age 81, will be forced to undergo counseling and report to authorities on a regular basis for the rest of his life.
On Tuesday, Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill denied a request from Cosby’s legal team that he be released on bail pending his appeal.
Bill Cosby’s trial is the first to result in a conviction following the rise of the #MeToo movement in 2017.
Over the past two years, more than 200 powerful individuals have been accused of sexual harassment and assault including Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Bill O’Reilly, Roy Moore, Donald Trump, and Sean Hannity.
More than anything else, the trial against Cosby represents a victory for all the women he abused.
“I’ve waited 32 years for this day, hoping my nightmares would go away,” said Chelan Lasha, one of several victims to gather outside the courthouse on Tuesday. “I prayed every day that Mr. Cosby would go to prison and pay his dues.”