Prosecutors had asked for the comedian to receive five to 10 years behind bars, while his lawyers asked for house arrest, in the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.
His Hollywood career and good-guy image in ruins, Bill Cosby was led away to prison in handcuffs Tuesday at age 81 for perhaps the rest of his days, sentenced to three to 10 years behind bars for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his gated estate.
The punishment made him the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to be sent to prison and all but completed the dizzying, late-in-life fall from grace for the comedian, TV star and breaker of racial barriers.
“It is time for justice. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The time has come,” Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) Judge Steven O’Neill said when sentencing him to state prison and “total confinement.” He quoted from victim Andrea Constand’s statement to the court, in which she said Cosby took her “beautiful, young spirit and crushed it.”
Cosby declined the opportunity to speak before the sentence came down, and afterward sat laughing and chatting with his defense team. His wife of 54 years, Camille, was not in court. Constand smiled broadly upon hearing the punishment and was hugged by others in the courtroom.
In a blistering statement, Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said the comic was subjected to “most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States.” Reading the lengthy statement off his cellphone, Wyatt claimed both Cosby and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are victims of a “sex war” going on in Washington that he also claims Judge O’Neill to be a part of.