Bill Cosby, the legendary television star who was once known to fans as “America’s Dad,” has been sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. He was also ordered to pay a $25,000 fine and to cover the cost of his prosecution.
The judge in the case handed down the sentence Tuesday, shortly after declaring the 81-year-old star a “sexually violent predator.” The classification means Cosby must register as a sex offender and undergo lifetime counseling.
Judge Steven O’Neill denied the comedian bail, and he was led out of a suburban Philadelphia courtroom in handcuffs once he learned his fate for sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.
A spokeswoman for the Montgomery County district attorney’s office said Cosby will spend the next few days at a county jail before he is transported to SCI Phoenix, a new state prison outside Philadelphia.
Once he arrives at the prison, staff members will assess his physical, medical and security needs, according to The Associated Press.
On April 26, a jury found The Cosby Show star guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and molesting Constand.
Going into this week’s two-day sentencing hearing, Cosby faced a maximum of 10 years in state prison for each of the three counts.
Cosby was first tried in 2017, but the trial ended with a hung jury.
Constand, a former director of operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball team, told jurors Cosby gave her three blue pills that left her unable to move when she visited his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.
Dozens of other women have accused Cosby of rape or sexual assault, often after drugging their drinks. Constand’s case went to trial because the statute of limitations on the crime had not yet expired.
Cosby is the first celebrity sentenced in the #MeToo era.