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(SKY NEWS) – Bill Cosby has arrived at court to face the prospect of spending the rest of his life in jail for drugging and molesting a woman.
The comedian’s downfall from “America’s Dad” to convicted criminal will reach its conclusion when a judge decides how he will be punished.
Cosby, 81, was the first celebrity to go on trial following the #MeToo movement, and could be the first to go to prison.
He was convicted in April of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home in 2004.
More than 60 women have made similar allegations.
Protesters shouted at Cosby as he entered the Pennsylvania courthouse with his spokesman at around 8.30am.
Ms Constand arrived a short time later.
Cosby faces up to 10 years for each of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault, or the judge may choose to send him home on probation.
State sentencing guidelines for someone such as Cosby, who has no prior convictions, recommend a sentence between two and four years.
However, Daniel Filler, from Drexel University’s Kline School of Law, said the judge may be influenced by the “optics” of the case.
“The judge is going to get less flak if they see Bill Cosby walk out in cuffs,” he said.
Cosby’s defence lawyers are likely to point out that he is legally blind and uses a cane, as well as his achievements and philanthropy.
But prosecutors hope to call on some of Cosby’s other accusers as they push for a lengthy sentence.
A number of them, including model Janice Dickinson, were at the sentencing hearing – which could last two days.
Cosby’s first trial in 2017 ended in a mistrial when jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict.
Soon after, other women began accusing influential men of sexual misconduct, uniting behind the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that encouraged victims to speak out.
The judge allowed prosecutors in Cosby’s second trial to call five other accusers as witnesses.
All of the women relayed similar stories to Constand’s – that Cosby would offer to be their mentor before plying them with alcohol and drugs before sexually assaulting them.
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