Ten of the 60 women who accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault were present in the Norristown, Penn., courtroom on Tuesday when a judge sentenced the fallen star of The Cosby Show to 3 to 10 years in prison. Cosby will serve time for the 2004 rape of Andrea Constand, the accuser who publicly came out as a lesbian in 2015 to disprove Cosby’s assertion that he could read the desires of women.
“It is time for justice, Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you,” Judge O’Neill said, according to The New York Times. “The day has come. The time has come.”
In addition to the prison sentence, Cosby was fined $25,000 and is required to register as a sex offender. The judge also agreed with a Pennsylvania state board’s recommendation that Cosby be designated as a “sexually violent predator.”
Justice was a long a time in the making. A 2017 case brought by Constand against Cosby ended in a mistrial. Then, earlier this year, a new jury found Cosby guilty of drugging and raping Constand 14 years ago. Hers was the only case out of the more than 60 accusations from women who claimed Cosby sexually assaulted them for which the statute of limitations had not run out.
In April, Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, however “counts two and three have been merged into count one,” O’Neill said in court Monday.
Constand — who was 30 and an employee of the basketball program at Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University, at the time of the rape — told her story for the first time in a courtroom last summer in a trial that left the jury deadlocked. She reiterated the horrifying details of how he drugged her and penetrated her repeatedly while she was limp and unable to move.
During Cosby’s sentencing, O’Neill referred to Constand’s five-page victim’s impact statement.
“As she said, Mr. Cosby,” O’Neill said, “you took her beautiful healthy young spirit and you crushed it.”