Comedian Bill Cosby, who once reigned over prime-time television as revered sitcom dad Cliff Huxtable on NBC’s hit series “The Cosby Show,” was sentenced to prison today after being convicted in April of three counts of indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004.
Cosby received a sentence of three to 10 years in state prison. He was also ordered to pay a $25,000 fine. He was taken into custody immediately after today’s hearing.
Earlier in the day, Cosby, 81, was legally declared to be a “sexually violent predator,” meaning he must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Cosby’s legal team has already appealed his conviction, and is expected to appeal the predator designation as well.
Cosby initially faced the possibility of as much as 30 years in prison, but on Monday Judge Steven O’Neill announced that the defense and prosecution teams had agreed to merge the three counts into one, bringing his maximum sentence to 10 years.
Cosby became known as “America’s Dad” during the run of “The Cosby Show,” which spent five consecutive seasons as the top-rated show on television and was declared TV’s biggest hit of the 1980s by TV Guide. Cliff Huxtable was also declared to be the “Greatest Television Dad.”
But Cosby’s image began to fall apart in the mid-2010s when women started coming forward to accuse him of drugging and sexually assaulting them. More than 60 women have accused Cosby of a variety of misdeeds including rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery and child sexual abuse.