A two-day sentencing hearing for disgraced comedian Bill Cosby began Monday. It serves as the culmination of a four-year effort to get the convicted sexual assailant behind bars.
The 81-year-old was convicted in April on three counts of aggravated sexual assault for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his home in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in January of 2004. She was one of dozens of women who accused Cosby of assault, but the only one whose case could be tried in court due to statute of limitations laws.
Judge Steven O’Neill could sentence him to up to 10 years in prison per count, or send him home on probation. Cosby will ultimately be given 22 to 34 months in prison, O’Neill said Monday, nothing that “Counts two and three have been merged into count one.”
While the D.A. and his accuser wanted the max sentence, it looks like he’ll get much less according to the judge’s statement Monday.
ANDREA CONSTAND WEIGHS IN
Constand testified Monday for two minutes. She said she is seeking “justice as the court sees fit,” according to reports. She also submitted a victim-impact statement that was not made public.
“I deal with my trauma on a daily basis,” she added.
Her mother Gianna also testified, saying that Cosby had “protected himself at the cost of ruining many lives.”
One of the major issues of contention is whether Cosby will be deemed a sexually violent predator. A state board is recommending that he be classified as such, which would mean that the public would be notified of his whereabouts and he would be required to go through counseling until his death.
A psychologist, Dr. Kristen Dudley, claims he should be classified as such: “I completely agree that Mr. Cosby does meet the criteria of a sexually violent predator.”
She went on, adding that Cosby may have even met his next victim: “It is possible he has already met someone who could be a future victim. I cannot predict with accuracy when a defendant would re-offend.”