Judge rules Bill Cosby is a “sexually violent predator,” sentences him to 3-10 years in prison

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Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images(NORRISTOWN, Penn.) -- A judge in Norristown, Pennsylvania has sentenced disgraced comedian Bill Cosby to three to ten years in prison, ruling that he is a "sexually violent predator." 

Cosby, 81, was convicted in April on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.

Judge Steven T. O'Neill designated Cosby a sexually violent predator earlier Tuesday after being recommended to do so by a state board of experts.

After sentencing, O'Neill denied bail for Cosby, who was handcuffed and led from court to begin his sentence.

O'Neill told Cosby he was "convicted of a very serious crime," which he called "planned predation."  Judge O'Neill also noted that Cosby neither showed remorse for his crimes nor sought psychological counseling.

Cosby declined to make a statement Tuesday but he did answer a series of questions to demonstrate that he fully comprehended the implications and consequences of that designation.

Prior to sentencing Tuesday, Andrea Constand's victim impact statement was released. It said, in part, "After the assault, I wasn’t sure what had actually happened but the pain spoke volumes. The shame was overwhelming. Self-doubt and confusion kept me from turning to my family and friends as I normally did. I felt completely alone, unable to trust anyone, including myself.” 

Constand's statement also said, "Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it. He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature, and my trust in myself and others.”

Judge O'Neill called the statement "nothing short of powerful."

During sentencing, eight other alleged Bill Cosby victims stood silently in the rear of the courtroom.  Dozens of women have accused Cosby of either sexual misconduct or assault in alleged behavior going back decades.

Cosby's wife, Camille, a near constant presence in the courtroom during both of her husband's trials and a frequent and vocal critic of the process, did not attend Tuesday's sentencing.

While Cosby's lawyer, Joseph P. Green, argued Monday that Cosby "is not dangerous" and shouldn't serve jail time because he's too old and feeble, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said that Cosby shouldn’t get a "get out jail free" card just because he's old and visually impaired.

“The bottom line is nobody is above the law,” Steele argued. He added, “Committing a drugging and sexual assault comes with a hefty price. That price is your liberty.”

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