A defense psychologist testified at Bill Cosby's sentencing Tuesday that the chances of the comedian committing another sex offense are “extraordinarily low” because he is old, blind and needs help getting around.
Psychologist Timothy Foley took the stand as the 81-year-old TV star waited to learn his punishment for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia estate in 2004. The comic once known as America's Dad faced anywhere from probation to 10 years in prison after being convicted in April in the first celebrity trial of the (hash)MeToo era.
Foley said the recidivism rate is negligible for sex offenders older than 70.
“Given that he's 81, blind, has been convicted of a sex offense and will be supervised,” it's extremely unlikely Cosby would commit another such crime, Foley testified.
Cosby's lawyers called Foley to the stand as they fought to keep him from being declared a “sexually violent predator,” which would make him subject to mandatory lifetime counseling and community notification.
Defense attorney Joseph Green started the second day of Cosby's sentencing hearing by getting a psychologist for the state to acknowledge it's possible Cosby is in “full remission” from a psychological disorder she says gives him the uncontrollable urge to assault women.
Cosby hasn't been accused of committing a sexual assault in the 14 years since he violated former Temple University women's basketball administrator Andrea Constand.
Prosecutors on Monday asked a judge to give the comedian five to 10 years behind bars, while his lawyers asked for house arrest, saying Cosby is too old and helpless to do time in prison.
Cosby was smiling and joking with his spokesman and sheriff's deputies as he settled into the courtroom Tuesday. On Day 1 of the sentencing, the comic laughed at times as the psychologist on the stand for the state portrayed him as a sexual predator with signs of a mental disorder.
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said the former TV star planned to remain silent when given the opportunity to address the court Tuesday. Cosby did not testify at either of his two trials.
In the years since Constand first went to authorities in 2005, more than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, though none of those claims have led to criminal charges.
Tuesday's sentencing was a reckoning accusers and prosecutors said was decades in the making for the once-beloved entertainer known for his role as wise and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-ranked, 1980s-era “Cosby Show.”
“The victims cannot be un-raped. Unfortunately, all we can do is hold the perpetrator accountable,” said Gianna Constand, the victim's mother, who testified Monday that her daughter's buoyant personality was forever changed after the attack.
On Monday, Green urged Judge Steven O'Neill to ignore the protests and activism surrounding the case and send Cosby home.
“The suggestion that Mr. Cosby is dangerous is not supported by anything other than the frenzy,” Green said as demonstrators gathered outside the courthouse.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said Cosby would no doubt commit similar crimes if given the chance, warning that the former TV star seemingly gets a sexual thrill out of slipping women drugs and assaulting them.
“To say that he's too old to do that - to say that he should get a pass, because it's taken this long to catch up to what he's done?” Steele said, his voice rising. “What they're asking for is a 'get out of jail free' card.”
The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, which Constand and other accusers have done.
Cosby became the first black actor to star in a prime-time TV show, “I Spy,” in 1965. He remained a Hollywood A-lister for much of the next half-century.
The proceedings took place as another extraordinary (hash)MeToo drama continued to unfold on Capitol Hill, where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces allegations of sexual misconduct from more than three decades ago.