Cosby sentencing is new milestone for #MeToo movement

Ruben Ruiz
September 24, 2018

In closing arguments, prosecutors specifically called out Cosby's lawyers for targeting the women's credibility, saying those attacks discourage victims from speaking up.

The defendant could serve up to 30 years in state prison with each count carrying a maximum of ten years behind bars, and a minimum of 22 months.

Constand, who had gotten to know Cosby when she was managing the women's basketball team at Temple University, testified that the TV star gave her three blue pills, which caused her to pass out. Judge O'Neill has had authority over the case for three years, after police arrested Cosby in December 2015 as well as during his trial in 2017 which ended in gridlock. Cosby maintains that he is now legally blind.

One key issue for the sentencing hearing is whether Cosby will be designated a "sexually violent predator".

The trial - his second, after the jury in a first trial failed to reach a verdict - was the first of a celebrity accused of sexual assault since the beginning of the #MeToo movement.

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Cosby, once the beloved star of the 1980s television comedy "The Cosby Show", eventually faced accusations from some 60 women stretching back decades, some of which had always been known but previously failed to gain traction.

It has been suggested that due to Cosby's age his legal team will fight for home detention, according to Loyola Law School Professor Laurie Levenson.

However, the New York Times reports that the judge has denied a prosecution request to allow women to testify at the sentencing hearing whose allegations of molestation did not lead to criminal charges.

In a ruling last week, O'Neill refused to step down, calling the claim of bias "unsubstantiated" and "meritless". Constand and at least five other accusers will be at the sentencing but they will not be able to testify. But the defense argued that "allegations of misconduct that are more than 20 years old" were not relevant to protecting the public "from an 81-year-old unsighted man".

Cosby has been on house arrest since in April. The 81-year-old has been free on $1 million bail, but has to wear a Global Positioning System monitoring device.

Other reports by GizPress

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