Bill Cosby Likely to Get Less Than Three Years for Raping Lesbian

Bill Cosby

Update: On Tuesday, Cosby was formally sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison.

Earlier this year, a jury found Bill Cosby guilty of drugging and raping Andrea Constand in 2004. Hers was the only case out of more than 60 accusations from women who claimed the fallen comedian had sexually assaulted them for which the statute of limitations had not run out. On Monday, in a Norristown, Pa., courtroom, Judge Steven O’Neill said Cosby will probably serve less than three years behind bars on three counts of indecent assault, charges that could have resulted in up to 30 years in prison, Deadline reports.

A once-promising basketball star and a former employee of the basketball program at Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University, Constand put herself on the line to take down the now-disgraced comedian. She even came out publicly as a lesbian in 2015 to challenge her attacker’s assertion that he knew how to read the desires of the women he assaulted.

Last summer, Constand told her story for the first time in a trial that left the jury deadlocked. Despite Cosby’s attorney’s attempts to drag her reputation, she told her story again in the retrial that ended in April with the jury finding him guilty of drugging and raping her. 

While several other women the Cosby Show star allegedly assaulted were allowed to testify in the retrial, his conviction turned on Constand’s case.

It was Constand’s story and her grit in retelling the gruesome tale of how he drugged her and waited for her to become impaired before penetrating her with his penis and fingers that eventually led to Cosby’s conviction.

“Move your hands. Kick. Can you do anything? I don't want this. Why is this person doing this?' And me not being able to react in any specific way," was how she described her thoughts during her assault. “I was not able to do a thing to fight back. I was limp. I was a limp noodle,” Constand testified in April. "He said nothing that I could recall. I was in and out of consciousness. I was crying out inside, in my throat and my mind, for this to stop, and I couldn't do anything.”   

On Monday, Constand spoke briefly to the court. 

“All I am asking for is justice as the court sees it,” a Constand said, looking directly at O’Neill, according to Deadline. 

On the first day of Cosby’s sentencing hearing, which is slated to run for two days, Constand’s parents and sister spoke to the court, expressing the pain and suffering Constand suffered at the hands of her rapist. 

Constand’s father Andrew Constand spoke of “sadness” in their lives, expressing that the crime has hung over the family “like a dark cloud.” Echoing sentiments made popular on social media since the #MeToo movement took hold, which have been revived under the threat of an alleged sexual predator, Brett Kavanaugh, getting confirmed to the Supreme Court, Andrew Constand thanked those who have “believed” his daughter. 

But Cosby’s defense attorney and the Montgomery County district attorney have struck a deal that will likely result in a sentence of less than three years, according to Deadline.

Although Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, “counts two and three have been merged into count one,” O’Neill said in court Monday. Given state guidelines for those charges, Cosby's final sentence will be 22 to 34 months, the judge said. Representatives of the district attorney's office said they had argued for a sentence of at least 10 years, but it now seems that will not be the case. The final sentence will be handed down Tuesday. 

In arguments on Monday, defense attorney Joseph Green painted his client as harmless, failing to acknowledge that Cosby never paid for his crimes. 

“Eighty-one-year-old blind men are not dangerous,” Green said. 

“He seemingly doesn’t think he has done anything wrong. No remorse.” District Attorney Kevin Steele said in court. “We know who this guy is, certainly not the act he played on TV.”

[Editor's note: An earlier version of this story erroneously said sentencing was complete.

Latest videos on Advocate

From our Sponsors

READER COMMENTS ()