BILL COSBY LABELLED A ‘SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR’ DURING SENTENCING HEARING
Bill Cosby returned to a Pennsylvania courtroom Monday to face sentencing over his sexual assault conviction – with a psychologist suggesting he is a “sexually violent predator.
Montgomery County prosecutors have asked Judge Steven O’Neil to sentence the former actor to five to 10 years in prison for the 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand.
The judge must also decide whether Cosby will receive the official sex predator label, which would mean that he would be put on the sex offender’s registry and require him to undergo counseling for life, per yahoo.com.
In April, the 81-year-old was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Constand over 14 years ago at his Philadelphia mansion in 2004.
Prosecutors have asked for a sentence of five to 10 years in prison for each count but Judge O’Neil has merged the counts, with sentencing guidelines suggesting a total sentence of around one to four years.
In court, Cosby was described as a “sexually violent predator” with a mental illness by Kristen Dudley, a psychologist and member of the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board.
Ms Dudley suggested the label for Cosby after completing her examination of the actor on Monday afternoon. His disorder involved urges towards non-consenting women, according to the psychologist, who said he often befriended women for the “sole purpose of his sexual gratification.”
A psychologist for the defense is set to testify on Tuesday, with the sentencing also likely to take place by the end of the day.
Shortly before the hearing began on Monday, Constand tweeted the Bible verse Ephesians 4:26: “Be wrathful, but do not sin; do not let the sun set while you are still angry. Do not give the Devil an opportunity,” she wrote.
In court, she spoke for two minutes.
“The jury heard me. Mr. Cosby heard me. Now, all I am asking for, is justice as the court sees fit,” said Ms. Constand, who submitted a much longer victim-impact statement that wasn’t read in court.
Cosby’s defense team have argued that he is too old and frail to serve time in jail.
“What does an 81-year-old man do in prison?” defense attorney Joseph Green asked speaking about Cosby who is legally blind and dependent on others. “How does he fight off the people who are trying to extort him, or walk to the mess hall?”
Defense prefers Cosby instead be placed in a detention or rehabilitation facility or be put under something akin to house arrest.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said that the sentence, even at Cosby’s age, should send a message to others.
“Despite bullying tactics, despite PR teams and other folks trying to change the optics, as one lawyer for the defense put it, the bottom line is that nobody’s above the law. Nobody,” he said.