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Cosby Sentencing: 'What Does an 81-Year-Old Do in Prison?'

Prosecutors want 5 to 10 years, defense basically asks for house arrest
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 24, 2018 4:04 PM CDT
Bill Cosby arrives for his sentencing hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Norristown, Pa.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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(Newser) – Declaring Bill Cosby doesn't deserve a free pass because of his advanced age, prosecutors on Monday asked a judge to sentence the comedian to five to 10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman, while the defense argued that he is too old and helpless to do time behind bars, the AP reports. "What does an 81-year-old man do in prison?" defense attorney Joseph Green asked on Day 1 of the sentencing hearing for Cosby, who is legally blind and dependent on others. "How does he fight off the people who are trying to extort him, or walk to the mess hall?" Green suggested that Cosby instead be put on something akin to house arrest. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said that he has no doubt Cosby would commit another such offense if given the opportunity, warning that the TV star seemingly gets a sexual thrill out of slipping women drugs and assaulting them.

"So to say that he's too old to do that—to say that he should get a pass, because it's taken this long to catch up to what he's done?" Steele said, his voice rising. "What they're asking for is a 'get out of jail free' card." And he said the sentence should send a message to others. "Despite bullying tactics, despite PR teams and other folks trying to change the optics, as one lawyer for the defense put it, the bottom line is that nobody's above the law. Nobody," the district attorney said. Cosby was convicted in April of violating former Temple University women's basketball administrator Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004. After testifying for several hours at two trials, the first of which ended in a hung jury, Constand spoke in court Monday for just two minutes. "The jury heard me. Mr. Cosby heard me. Now all I am asking for is justice as the court sees fit," said Constand, who submitted a much longer victim-impact statement that wasn't read in court. Judge Steven O'Neill is expected to sentence Cosby on Tuesday. Click for more details from Monday's proceedings.

(Read more Bill Cosby stories.)

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