Monday, 22 October, 2018

Bill Cosby to fight ‘sexually violent predator’ tag at sentencing Monday

Camille Cosby Modal Trigger Camille Cosby Getty Images for the Jackie Robi
Adrian Cunningham | 24 September, 2018, 13:47

"I really think it's important that he spend some time behind bars", said Lublin, who said Cosby assaulted her when she was 23 in 1989.

Prosecutors had asked O'Neill for permission to call an unspecified number of accusers as witnesses during the sentencing hearing, but the judge denied that request last week.

The pioneering comedian and award-winning actor was found guilty April 26 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The frail 81-year-old - once beloved as "America's Dad" - faces a maximum potential sentence of 30 years for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.

The judge allowed five other women to testify in the trial under a "prior bad acts" rule in the state of Pennsylvania, which allows testimony if it reveals a defendant's pattern of behaviour. Courts have also debated whether the programs unfairly amount to extra punishment, especially for people convicted of misdemeanors. The Herald has reported that Cosby's conviction for these sex crimes is sufficient for MA authorities to require him to register here if he spends four days in one month or 14 days in a year in the Bay State. The Megan's Law group has their names, pictures and towns listed online, but they're not subject to the same monthly counseling mandates as the "predator" group, and authorities don't actively warn communities of their nearby presence. He remained a Hollywood A-lister for much of the next half-century, hitting his peak in the 1980s with the top-rated Cosby Show as Dr. Cliff Huxtable.

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The stigma may not be as paralyzing for a man like Cosby - in his 80s, living in a gated house and presumably not looking for work or going to the local gym.

Cosby is now on his third lead lawyer, Joseph Green, since his arrest in December 2015, having parted ways with celebrity advocate Tom Mesereau after the guilty verdict.

Legal experts believe a "predator" classification would be a legal finding that Cosby accusers could use in their defamation suits, including one involving seven women plaintiffs that's pending in MA.

O'Neill will also consider whether Cosby should be classified as a sexually violent predator. "He has a tag now".