Disgraced US television icon Bill Cosby returns to a Pennsylvania court yesterday to face sentencing for sexual assault, in a two-day proceeding starting on Monday, five months after his conviction at the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.
The frail 81-year-old star of ‘The Cosby Show,’ who was in April found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004, faces a maximum potential sentence of 30 years.
The court in Norristown, Pennsylvania, has scheduled two days for the sentencing, to give witnesses the opportunity to speak before the judge.
Cosby, who has been under house arrest since his conviction, will also be offered the chance to make a statement before judge Steven O’Neill hands him his sentence on Tuesday.
The comedian’s lawyers have said he will appeal the conviction, which observers say could push the case up to Pennsylvania’s highest court and take several years.
He will be the first celebrity sentenced for a sex crime since the 2017 downfall of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein signaled the beginning of America’s public reckoning with sexual harassment.
The pioneering comedian and award-winning actor was found guilty on April 26 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
More than 50 women have come forward to publicly accuse Cosby of sexual assault spanning several decades.
Judge O’Neill will today decide whether to declare Cosby a “sexually violent predator” – a scarlet letter that would make him subject to mandatory lifetime counseling and community notification of his whereabouts.