Former television star and comedian Bill Cosby has been sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for drugging and molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home.
Judge Steven O'Neill sentenced Cosby on Tuesday in Norristown, Pennsylvania, five months after his conviction in the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.
Prosecutors were seeking a sentence of five to 10 years in prison. The defense asked for house arrest.
The 81-year-old comedian did not make a statement in court. Cosby sat back in his chair, his head on the headrest, as the sentence was read.
The entertainer once known as “America’s Dad” was convicted in April of sexually assaulting Temple University athletics administrator Andrea Constand in 2004.
Constand is one of about 60 women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct.
O’Neill earlier ruled Cosby was a sexually violent predator. The classification means he must undergo lifetime counseling and report quarterly to authorities. His name will appear on a sex-offender registry sent to neighbors, schools and victims.
Cosby’s lawyers had fought the sexually violent predator designation, arguing that Pennsylvania’s sex-offender law remains unconstitutional despite several revisions.
Constand, meanwhile, said she’s had to cope with years of unrelenting pain, anxiety and self-doubt after Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home in 2004.
In a victim-impact statement released Tuesday, Constand wrote that Cosby’s 2004 attack on her was just “the tip of the iceberg” for the suffering that followed.
Constand said her training as a professional basketball player had led her to think she could handle anything, but “life as I knew it” ended on the night that Cosby knocked her out with pills and violated her.
She said the Cosby team’s subsequent attacks on her character left her with “insurmountable stress and anxiety.”
Constand said she now lives alone with her two dogs, “stuck in a holding pattern” as a middle-aged woman because she has trouble trusting people.
Earlier Tuesday, a defense psychologist testified that the chances Cosby would commit another sex offense are “extraordinarily low” because he’s old, legally blind and needs help getting around.