How much time could Bill Cosby face? - Macleans.ca
 

How much time could Bill Cosby face?

A guide to the charges against Bill Cosby, and the penalties he might face if convicted


 
NORRISTOWN, PA - JUNE 6:  Actor Bill Cosby (R) and spokesman Andrew Wyatt arrive for Cosby's trial on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 6, 2017. in Norristown, Pennsylvania.  A former Temple University employee alleges that the entertainer drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia.  More than 40 women have accused the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault.  (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez-Pool/Getty Images)

NORRISTOWN, PA – JUNE 6: Actor Bill Cosby (R) and spokesman Andrew Wyatt arrive for Cosby’s trial on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 6, 2017. in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez-Pool/Getty Images)

The jury in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial will resume deliberations on Tuesday.

Jurors were sent back to their hotel late Monday night after deliberating for about four hours on the sixth day of the trial.

Cosby is accused of drugging and violating a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in January 2004. Cosby’s lawyers have argued that the encounter was consensual.

MORE: Bill Cosby’s Canadian accuser stands tall at his trial

The 79-year-old comedian is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

A look at the sexual assault charges against Cosby and the punishment he could face if convicted.

What is Cosby accused of?

He is accused of drugging and sexually violating a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Andrea Constand says Cosby gave her pills that made her paralyzed and unable to fight him off as he groped her breast and genitals. His lawyers said they were in a romantic relationship and what happened was consensual. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

MORE: The public theatre of the Bill Cosby trial

What is he charged with?

Three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault, each covering a different aspect of the alleged crime.

Count 1 alleges that Cosby didn’t have consent when he penetrated Constand’s genitals with his fingers.

Count 2 alleges she was unconscious or semi-conscious at the time and could not give consent.

Count 3 alleges all this happened after he gave her an intoxicant that substantially impaired her and stopped her from resisting.

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with his wife Camille Cosby, right, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 12, 2017. (Matt Rourke/AP/CP)

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with his wife Camille Cosby, right, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 12, 2017. (Matt Rourke/AP/CP)

How much time could he face?

Each of the three counts carries a standard sentence range of 5 to 10 years in prison, but that doesn’t mean Cosby could be facing up to 30 years.

Legal experts say the sentence for each count should run concurrently under Pennsylvania law since they all cover the same incident and conduct.

That means a conviction would put Cosby in prison at least until he is 84 years old, based on state sentencing guidelines.

What’s the worst case scenario for Cosby?

Pennsylvania law allows sentencing judges to consider uncharged conduct. In Cosby’s case, that means the more than 60 other women who have accused him of assaults dating to the 1960s.

Duquesne University law professor Wes Oliver says those allegations could compel Judge Steven O’Neill to sentence Cosby closer to the 10-year maximum.

Would he have to register as a sex offender?

Yes. If he is convicted, prosecutors say, Cosby would also have to register as a sex offender and face an assessment to determine if he is a sexually violent predator.

MORE: ‘Can’t we stop this?’ Bill Cosby’s lawyer beseeches jury

Would Cosby be hauled off in handcuffs right away?

If convicted, Cosby could remain free until sentencing unless O’Neill revokes his $1 million bail.

Philadelphia defence lawyer Alan Tauber says that’s less likely in Cosby’s case because his fame makes him an unlikely flight risk.


 

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