Television icon Bill Cosby was handcuffed and taken into custody Tuesday to begin a minimum three-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting a woman at his Philadelphia mansion 14 years ago.
The 81-year-old, once beloved by millions as “America’s Dad,” is the first celebrity convicted and sentenced for a sex crime since the downfall of Harvey Weinstein ushered in the #MeToo movement and America’s reckoning with sexual harassment.
Found guilty on April 26 of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, a former university basketball administrator, Cosby was impassive when Judge Steven O’Neill handed down the sentence Tuesday in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
After the judge rejected a defense request to release Cosby on bail pending an appeal, he was slapped in handcuffs, and led out of the courtroom in his shirt and braces, his tie and blazer removed.
It makes him one of the famous Americans ever sent to prison in a country where fame, wealth and expensive lawyers have tended to help celebrities avoid the full arm of the law in the past.