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'Sexually Violent Predator' Bill Cosby Gets 3 To 10 Years In Prison

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File: Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse on the first day of sentencing in his sexual assault trial on Sept. 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
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Comedy and television legend Bill Cosby, 81, has been sentenced to three to 10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman. As the Associated Press notes, he is the first celebrity in the #MeToo era to be sent to prison.

The judge declared Cosby a "sexually violent predator" in his two-day sentencing hearing. That means he must attend monthly counseling sessions for the rest of his life, as well as notifying neighbors and schools of his whereabouts.

A psychologist for the state had testified that Cosby appears to have a mental disorder giving him an uncontrollable urge to have sex with women without their consent.

Cosby built a career on his family-friendly image, bringing the story of an upper middle class black family to TV staring in 1984 with the Cosby Show. It was the peak of a career as a successful standup, as well as a TV and film star -- the first black actor to star in a network TV show with I Spy. He went on to be known as America's Dad, playing Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the Cosby Show.

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Cosby lived in Los Angeles at the height of his TV career, playing an L.A. high school phys ed teacher in 1969's the Bill Cosby Show. He hosted L.A.'s Playboy Jazz Festival from 1979 to 2012.

He was found guilty in April of violating Temple University women's basketball administrator Andrea Constand at his home in the Philadelphia suburbs back in 2004. She woke up in a fog at Cosby's estate with her clothes askew.

A year later, she went to the police. Since then, more than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, but none of those accusations have led to criminal charges.

"When the sexual assault happened, I was a young woman brimming with confidence and looking forward to a future bright with possibilities," Constand said in a statement submitted to the court. "Now, almost 15 years later, I'm a middle-aged woman who's been stuck in a holding pattern for most of her adult life, unable to heal fully or to move forward. Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it."

She wrote of Cosby, "We may never know the full extent of his double life as a sexual predator, but his decades-long reign of terror as a serial rapist is over."

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Constand noted that she has never married and has no partner.

The district attorney initially turned down Constand's case, but it was reopened a decade later following fellow stand-up Hannibal Buress in a viral clip talking about Cosby being a rapist.

You can watch the clip here (warning: this clip includes adult language):

It prompted more women to come forward, as well as old testimony from a civil suit Constand had filed being unsealed. She received a $3.4 million settlement at the time.

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In that testimony, Cosby described his sexual encounters with women, models, and other young women, as well as admitting to getting quaaludes to use on those women.

This story includes contributions from the Associated Press.


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