A publicist for once-beloved actor Bill Cosby complained that the star's conviction and three- to 10-year prison term for sexual assault stem from a racist and sexist justice system. "Your time has come". Cosby didn't testify at either of his two trials. "The day has come, the time has come".
In a statement given to the court and released Tuesday, Constand, 45, said that she has struggled for years with anxiety and self-doubt.
Cosby's wife, Camille, has not been present at the sentencing.
It makes him one of the famous Americans ever sent to prison in a country where fame, wealth and expensive lawyers have tended to help celebrities avoid the full arm of the law in the past.
The judge then cleared the courtroom before Cosby was handcuffed and escorted to jail. After the sentencing Tuesday, Cosby was taken directly to prison.
Cosby's lawyers have said they will appeal the case.
"You were convicted of a very serious crime", O'Neill told Cosby.
So far, Constand's case is the only criminal case brought against Cosby, as the statute of limitations has passed on many other alleged incidents. The publicly available registry lets neighbors and schools search for sexually violent people in their area.
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"Bill Cosby took my handsome, healthy young spirit and crushed it", she wrote.
Bill Cosby leaving the courthouse yesterday, about to enjoy his last night of house arrest before years of incarceration.
Ahead of the sentence, the judge designated Cosby a sexually violent predator, despite the defence's argument that Cosby's age and blindness mean he is not a threat.
The entertainer once known as "America's Dad" was convicted in April of sexually assaulting Temple University athletics administrator Andrea Constand in 2004. She said she had been a "young woman brimming with confidence" before Cosby took that from her.
The sentencing came as another extraordinary #MeToo drama unfolded on Capitol Hill, where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stands accused of sexual misconduct more than three decades ago. But following his retrial this year, it took just 14 hours of deliberation for the new jury to convict him on three counts of sexual assault (which were merged into one count during sentencing).
As part of the sentence, the judge also ordered him to pay a fine of $25,000 plus the costs of prosecution.
Under that designation, Cosby will have to undergo monthly counselling and register as a sex offender with police for the rest of his life. "He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature, and my trust in myself and others".
O'Neill said he would not hold it against Cosby that he didn't speak or testify.
"Bill Cosby took my handsome, healthy young spirit and crushed it".
Defense lawyers tried to keep the 81-year-old out of prison while he appeals his conviction, saying he's frail and legally blind.