Comedian and actor Bill Cosby faces a possibility of 30 years in prison for three counts of aggravated indecent assault, but experts say he may not face one day behind bars given the judge’s decision to allow him to go home while awaiting sentencing.
CNN reports that legal experts indicated that Cosby will almost certainly escape serving the full 30 years, but there is also a chance he won’t serve any time at all, not only due to the judge’s decision to put Cosby on house confinement, but also the defense team’s plan to appeal. The appeal is based on additional witnesses being allowed to testify during Cosby’s trial, which defense lawyers said unfairly showed prejudice to the jurors.
CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson indicated that Cosby’s defense lawyer, Tom Mesereau, will likely push for Cosby to be allowed to stay on home confinement while the appeal process takes place, which could weeks to even months. As CrimeOnline previously reported, Cosby is currently on house arrest while awaiting his sentencing date, scheduled to take place within 75 days. He’s required to wear a GPS monitor and can only leave his home for doctor appointments or visits with his attorney.
“I think he’ll ask the court and do whatever he needs to, to have his client remain out at liberty until these issues are decided, whether it was appropriate to allow all those accusers to testify, and how prejudicial and unfair would that be,” Jackson said.
Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill will ultimately decide Cosby’s fate, but as the judge presiding over the trial, he is the one who decided to allow Cosby to wait out his sentencing date on home confinement. The judge said Cosby’s age (80) and his previous record of showing up promptly to every hearing is what his decision was based on.
“I’m not simply going to lock him up right now….You are making a very big deal of something where there is a very high bail and he has appeared at every appearance.”
Legal analyst Areva Martin said that by looking at the judge’s comments and rulings, she feels it will lead to a significantly reduced prison sentence for Cosby.
“I think the fact that the judge yesterday allowed him to walk out of that courtroom, did not remand him immediately to jail, gives us a sense about what this judge is likely to do when he gets to the sentencing hearing.”
“He will be able to take into consideration Cosby’s age, the status of his health, the philanthropic work that he’s done over the last several decades, the fact that this is his first criminal conviction — all of those will be factors that the judge can take into consideration when sentencing him,” Martin continued.
Cosby’s sentencing date has not yet been scheduled. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Bill Cosby via AP/Matt Slocum]