National News

Cosby’s Sentencing Is Set for September

Posted May 15, 2018 5:03 p.m. EDT

Bill Cosby’s sentencing is set for September, five months after he was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home near Philadelphia in 2004, according to a ruling Tuesday by the Pennsylvania judge who presided at Cosby’s criminal trial.

Judge Steven T. O’Neill of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas filed a written order scheduling the sentencing hearing for Sept. 24-25 in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Cosby has been confined to his home outside Philadelphia since April 26, when a jury convicted him of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand, who was a Temple University employee at the time of the assault in 2004. He has been fitted with a GPS monitor and O’Neill limited him to travel only within surrounding counties for medical reasons or to see his lawyers.

Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison for each of the three felonies, but O’Neill could decide that he serve any sentence concurrently.

His lawyers have said they will appeal his conviction, and are likely to argue for leniency in any sentencing, maybe pointing to Cosby’s past philanthropy, and emphasizing his frail health and age. Cosby turns 81 in July.

After the conviction, prosecutors had indicated that the sentencing hearing would take place within 60 to 90 days. According to The Associated Press, Cosby’s lawyers had asked to delay sentencing until December.

Prosecutors have already indicated that they view Cosby’s crime as serious and may push the judge to levy a lengthy sentence that reflects what they presented in court as Cosby’s history as a serial predator.

Experts have said that, unlike at the trial, where prosecutors had to be careful about referring to the more than 50 other women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, they may be able to present multiple accounts from women beyond the six who were allowed to testify at the trial.

Lloyd Long, a Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer unconnected to the Cosby case, said the five-month time span was longer than is typical for most cases, but he was not surprised since the defense may be asking for more time to prepare mitigating evidence.

He said in Pennsylvania an appeal in a criminal case takes place after the sentence is imposed.

“The likelihood of an appeals court considering any appeal filed before sentencing is zero,” he said.