Published: Mon, September 24, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Merle Christensen

Bill Cosby sentencing hearing caps fall from grace for 'America's Dad'

Bill Cosby sentencing hearing caps fall from grace for 'America's Dad'

Bill Cosby's chief accuser has arrived at a courthouse outside Philadelphia for a sentencing hearing for the 81-year-old entertainer convicted of sexually assaulting her.

A jury in April found the "Fat Albert" and "The Cosby Show" star guilty of drugging and assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

If Cosby gets two years or less, he'd likely go to the Montgomery County jail in nearby Eagleville, a 2,080-bed facility that also has a medical unit.

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. Since then, more than 60 women have come forward with allegations against him.

Cosby, 81, will be sentenced in Pennsylvania this morning on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, charges that carry a punishment of anywhere from probation to 30 years behind bars.

Cosby and his lawyers are expected to heatedly contest that designation, claiming it's unconstitutional. All of the women told stories that were markedly similar to Constand's: Cosby would offer to be their mentor before plying them with alcohol and drugs and sexually assaulting them. Andrea Constand was one of the only women Cosby assaulted within the statue of limitations, so her case was used to take him down.

The almost four-year effort to jail Bill Cosby as a convicted sexual assailant reaches the end of its first phase on Monday when a two-day sentencing hearing gets underway in Pennsylvania.

New accuser told classmates she wasn't sure Kavanaugh exposed himself
The developments could also determine the fate of Kavanaugh's confirmation, which hangs on the votes of a handful of senators. Ramirez says she was hesitant to come forward because she was so drunk that she was on the ground and foggy when it happened.

Prosecutors said they would "present numerous witnesses who will testify that defendant sexually abused them" and argued those "uncharged crimes" were relevant to establishing Cosby's character and as a danger to the community.

Another Cosby accuser, Chelan Lasha, said he "deserves every year" of his potential 30-year sentence.

This avoids a repeat of the trial of ex-Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who faced testimony from more than 100 women during his sentencing hearing.

While some will be disappointed not to voice their accusations in court, experts say it could remove a lengthy part of the trail and speed up the hearing.

Prosecutors told Judge Steven O'Neill the law is necessary for public safety, and the judge allowed the hearing on Cosby's status to proceed. His wife of over 50 years, Camille, was noticeably absent.

Many of Cosby's alleged victims planned to meet ahead of the sentencing to go to the courtroom together today.

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