Bill Cosby arrived at the Montgomery County, Pennsylvania courthouse in a black SUV surrounded by his publicists and attorneys. He left in a prison van, escorted by sheriff’s deputies.
His lawyers immediately filed a notice of appeal.
Judge Steven T. O’Neill sentenced the fallen comic to as many as 10 years in state prison. Cosby, 81, could be released after serving a minimum of three years.
“You have no right to it,” O’Neill told Cosby’s attorney Joe Green, when asked that his client remain free on bail pending appeal. “This is a serious crime,” said the judge, who earlier had designated Cosby a sexual violent predator which means he’ll have to undergo a lifetime of monthly counseling and report quarterly to authorities.
Because of the sexual violent predator designation, Cosby’s name also will appear on a sex-offender registry sent to neighbors, schools and victims.
Additionally, after having already paid the victim in the case, Andrea Constand, $3.4 million in a civil settlement, the sexually violent predator designation can also be used against him in several defamation lawsuits that are pending against him.
Prosecutors had asked for a five- to 10-year sentence.
Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt told reporters that the sentence continues the “lynching of a legacy.”
Cosby was found guilty in April of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for the drugging and sexual assault of Constand, a former Temple University employee, at his in Montgomery County more than 14 years ago.
He was the first celebrity to be criminally convicted of sexual abuse since the start of the #MeToo movement, the national movement that has resulted in numerous celebrities and powerful individuals, like former NBC Today host Matt Lauer, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, and many others, losing their careers.
Cosby, who declined to address the court during sentencing and also didn’t testify during either of his trials, has vowed to continue to fight his conviction.