Bill Cosby will learn his fate at some point today as his sentencing for aggravated indecent assault from a 2004 case goes to trial in Pennsylvania. Now 81, Cosby’s team will mount a serious defense for their client as prosecutors push to put the man behind bars.
The answers will begin to emerge Monday, when the 81-year-old comedian appears in court in Pennsylvania for his sentencing. He could get up to 10 years in prison for each conviction, but prosecutors have indicated they are likely to ask for a lesser sentence. If he must serve time, he could be taken into custody immediately.
Defense attorneys are likely to point to Cosby’s age, declining health, history of philanthropic giving and the fact that this is his first criminal conviction as factors that show he should receive a short prison sentence — or none at all. In addition, Cosby could be allowed to remain out of prison until any legal appeal is resolved.
The decision is ultimately up to Judge Steven T. O’Neill, who oversaw Cosby’s 2018 retrial, as well as his mistrial a year earlier that ended in a hung jury.
O’Neill will also consider whether Cosby should be classified as a sexually violent predator. The distinction would subject Cosby to lifetime registration with state police, lifetime sex offender counseling and community notification. A state panel has said that should happen; his attorneys have argued the board’s process is unconstitutional.
The outlet adds that it is possible that the trial will extend into Tuesday as prosecutors could introduce witness statements from Andrea Constand, the main accuser connected to this case, and other women who have accused Cosby of similar actions.
We will update this story as it develops.