Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison for sexual assault

NORRISTOWN, Pa., Sept 25 (Reuters) - Bill Cosby was sentenced to between three and 10 years in prison on Tuesday for sexually assaulting a woman, capping the once-beloved comedian's downfall from "America's Dad" to convicted felon.

Cosby, 81, was found guilty in April of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for the drugging and sexual assault of his one-time friend Andrea Constand, a former Temple University administrator, at his Philadelphia home in 2004.

He was the first celebrity to be convicted for sexual abuse since the start of the #MeToo movement, the national reckoning with misconduct that has brought down dozens of powerful men in entertainment, politics and other fields.

His lawyers have already vowed to appeal the conviction.

Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O'Neill also decided to designate Cosby a "sexually violent predator" under Pennsylvania law.

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Bill Cosby's sentencing hearing
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Bill Cosby's sentencing hearing
Comedian Bill Cosby is taken into custody in handcuffs at Montgomery County Courthouse September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, after being sentenced to at least three years in prison and branded a 'sexually violent predator' for 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. (Photo by POOL / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read POOL/AFP/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Actor/stand-up comedian Bill Cosby is taken out of to the Montgomery County Courthouse to state prison in shackles after being Sentenced To 3 To 10 Years In Prison For Sexual Assault Conviction at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Bill Cosby accuser model Janice Dickinson, 63, exits the courtroom for lunch at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the second day of sentencing in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial on September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. In April, Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004 and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. 60 women have accused the 81 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Bill Cosby accuser model Janice Dickinson, 63, exits the courtroom for lunch at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the second day of sentencing in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial on September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. In April, Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004 and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. 60 women have accused the 81 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
US Entertainer Bill Cosby arrives for a scenting hearing in Norristown, PA, on September 25, 2018. Cosby appears before Judge Steven O'Neil after a jury found the 81 year old entertainer guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault in a April 2018 retrial. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Actor and Comedian Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for sentencing in his sexual assault trial, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U..S. September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Actor/stand-up comedian Bill Cosby arrives for sentencing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Actor/stand-up comedian Bill Cosby arrives for sentencing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: (C) Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse on the first day of sentencing in his sexual assault trial on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. In April, Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. 60 women have accused the 80 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: outside the Montgomery County Courthouse on the first day of sentencing in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. In April, Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. 60 women have accused the 80 year old entertainer of sexual assault. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Andrea Constand arrives at the sentencing hearing for the sexual assault trial of entertainer Bill Cosby at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania on September 24, 2018. - Disgraced US television icon Bill Cosby returned to a Pennsylvania court on Monday to face sentencing for sexual assault, five months after his conviction at the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. The frail 81-year-old -- once beloved as 'America's Dad' -- faces a maximum potential sentence of 30 years for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.The pioneering comedian and award-winning actor was found guilty April 26 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. (Photo by David MAIALETTI / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read DAVID MAIALETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
Former model Janice Dickinson arrives at the sentencing hearing for the sexual assault trial of entertainer Bill Cosby at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania on September 24, 2018. - Disgraced US television icon Bill Cosby returned to a Pennsylvania court on Monday to face sentencing for sexual assault, five months after his conviction at the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. The frail 81-year-old -- once beloved as 'America's Dad' -- faces a maximum potential sentence of 30 years for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.The pioneering comedian and award-winning actor was found guilty April 26 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. (Photo by David MAIALETTI / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read DAVID MAIALETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US actor Bill Cosby arrives at court on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania to face sentencing for sexual assault. - Disgraced US television icon Bill Cosby returned to a Pennsylvania court on Monday to face sentencing for sexual assault, five months after his conviction at the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. The frail 81-year-old -- once beloved as 'America's Dad' -- faces a maximum potential sentence of 30 years for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.The pioneering comedian and award-winning actor was found guilty April 26 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Actor/stand-up comedian Bill Cosby arrives for sentencing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
NORRISTOWN, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Actor/stand-up comedian Bill Cosby arrives for sentencing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
Activist Bird Milliken protest outside the Montgomery County Courthouse with a puppet and soap bulbs as she waits the arrival of Bill Cosby for his scenting hearing, in Norristown, PA, on September 24, 2018. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
US Entertainer Bill Cosby arrives for a scenting hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse, in Norristown, PA, on September 24, 2018. Cosby appears before Judge Steven O'Neil after a jury found the 81 year old entertainer guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault in a April 2018 retrial. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Actor and Comedian Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for sentencing in his sexual assault trial in Norristown, Pennsylvania on September 24, 2018. - Disgraced US television icon Bill Cosby returned to a Pennsylvania court on Monday to face sentencing for sexual assault, five months after his conviction at the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. The frail 81-year-old -- once beloved as 'America's Dad' -- faces a maximum potential sentence of 30 years for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.The pioneering comedian and award-winning actor was found guilty April 26 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison. (Photo by DAVID MAIALETTI / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read DAVID MAIALETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Under that designation, Cosby will have to undergo monthly counseling and register as a sex offender with police for the rest of his life. Neighbors and schools will be notified of his address and crimes.

More than 50 other women also have accused Cosby of sexual abuse going back decades, with most complaints too old to prosecute. The Constand case was the only allegation that led to criminal charges.

On the first day of the sentencing hearing on Monday, Constand said in a written statement submitted to the court that the attack had turned her into a woman who was "stuck in a holding pattern for most of her adult life, unable to heal fully or to move forward."

"Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it," she wrote.

Prosecutors had asked for the maximum prison sentence of between five and 10 years, citing the nature of Cosby's crime as well as his alleged history of misconduct. They had also asked the judge to levy a $25,000 fine on Cosby and make him pay court costs. If ever he came up for parole, prosecutors wanted him to submit to a "psycho-sexual evaluation" that he had refused prior to sentencing.

Citing Cosby's frailty and blindness, Cosby's lawyers had asked for house arrest rather than prison time.

Cosby's first trial in 2017 ended in a mistrial when jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict. Soon after that proceeding, a series of women began leveling sexual misconduct allegations against influential men, launching the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that have encouraged victims to speak up about their experiences. (Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Tom Brown)

33 PHOTOS
Bill Cosby through the years
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Bill Cosby through the years
July 1973: The actor, Bill Cosby, in Perth. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 16: Actor Bill Cosby leaves his New York City home accompanied by his wife, Camille (L,) and a young woman with her hands over her face, believed to be one of his four daughters, enroute to Los Angeles, CA, 16 January 1997 after his son Enis William Cosby was found shot to death along a California freeway. The young Cosby, 28, was found in a pool of blood after he stopped to change a flat tire. (Photo credit should read BOB STRONG/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : Actor and comedian Bill Cosby (R) and his wife Camille arrive at the White House 06 December for a reception prior to being honored at the 21st annual national Kennedy Center Honors. Cosby and the other honorees will be saluted later 06 December at a performance in the Kennedy Center's Opera House. AFP PHOTO/CHRIS KLEPONIS (Photo credit should read CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Co-hosts Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby joke with each other during the opening of the 2000 Essence Awards 14 April, 2000 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Actor Danny Glover and basketball star Michael Jordan were two of the honorees at the ceremonies sponsored by Essence Magazine. AFP PHOTO/Matt CAMPBELL (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP/Getty Images)
386603 06: Rachel Robinson and Actor Bill Cosby, who was the Master of Ceremonies, share a moment March 12, 2001 at The Jackie Robinson Foundation 2001 Awards Dinner at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. (Photo by George De Sota/Newsmakers)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Actor Bill Cosby arrives at the NBC 75th Anniversary Special at Rockefeller Plaza in New York 05 May 2002. The actual anniversary fell on 15 November, 2001. AFP PHOTO Doug KANTER (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 9: Actor Comedian Bill Cosby shows off the Presidential Medal of Freedom he received from U.S. President George W. Bush during a ceremony July 9, 2002 at the White House in Washington, DC. The medal is the highest civilian award given to those who have made meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
PHILIDELPHIA - MAY 22: Comedian and member of the Board of Trustees of Temple University Bill Cosby enters the arena prior to speaking to the graduates of the Class of 2003 at Temple University's commencement ceremony in The Liacouras Center May 22, 2003 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Don Murray/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 21: Actor Bill Cosby poses backstage with his 'Bob Hope Humanitarian' award during the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium September 21, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 12: Comedian Bill Cosby introduces the film 'Fat Albert' at Temple University's Liacouras Center for the world premiere of 'Fat Albert' December 12, 2004 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The film, based on Bill Cosby's 'Fat Albert' cartoon series of the 70's, opens nationwide Christmas day. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: Comedian Bill Cosby performs at the Apollo Theater on December 11, 2005 In New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 14: (AFP OUT) Entertainer Bill Cosby speaks during a taping of 'Meet the Press' at the NBC studios October 14, 2007 in Washington, DC. Cosby spoke on the new book he co-authored 'Come On, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: Bill Cosby arrives at the Esquie Magazine and Village Academies event honoring Bill Cosby at Esquire North November 19, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 26: Comedian Bill Cosby poses for photographers at the 12th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the John F. Kennedy Center on October 26, 2009 in Washington, DC. Cosby is this year's honoree. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 08: Bill Cosby and his wife Camille Cosby speak onstage at the Apollo Theater 75th Anniversary Gala at The Apollo Theater on June 8, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 6: Bill Cosby, Ed.D. poses for pictures before accepting the Marian Anderson Award at a gala concert produced in partnership with The Philadelphia Orchestra April 6, 2010 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 08: Comedian Bill Cosby attends the Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner at the The Waldorf Astoria on March 8, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation)
LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 09: Actor/comedian Bill Cosby speaks onstage during Andre Agassi Foundation for Education's 15th Grand Slam for Children benefit concert at the Wynn Las Vegas October 9, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event raises funds to help improve education for underserved youth in the Las Vegas community. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 02: Comedian Bill Cosby promotes new book 'I Didn't Ask To Be Born: But I'm Glad I Was' at the Barnes & Noble, 5th Avenue on November 2, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Bill Cosby accepts the Impact Award for 'The Cosby Show' with (L-R) actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner, presenter Stevie Wonder, actors Raven-Symone and Sabrina LeBeauf onstage at the 9th Annual TV Land Awards at the Javits Center on April 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: Host Bill Cosby speaks onstage at the 2011 Jackie Robinson Foundation awards gala atThe Waldorf=Astoria on March 7, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Bill Cosby performs during the Screen Gems Presents The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on May 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 13: Actor Bill Cosby gestures to the crowd after throwing out the first pitch prior to the game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees on September 13, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 05: Bill Cosby hosts the Jackie Robinson Foundation Awards Gala at The Waldorf=Astoria on March 5, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 15: Actor/comedian Bill Cosby speaks onstage during the 100th anniversary celebration of the Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows supporting the Motion Picture & Television Fund and the American Comedy Fund hosted by Bill Cosby at the Beverly Hills Hotel on June 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for BHH)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 06: Bill Cosby performs at the 7th annual 'Stand Up For Heroes' event at Madison Square Garden on November 6, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 22: Bill Cosby speaks during the 55th Anniversary of Ben's Chili Bowl on August 22, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 04: Dr. Bill Cosby speaks onstage at the The Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards' Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on March 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 26: Comedian/actor Bill Cosby performs at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino on September 26, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Comedian Bill Cosby addresses the Press Room during the 2014 American Comedy Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 10: Actor/comedian Bill Cosby performs onstage at Funny Or Die Clubhouse + Facebook Pop-Up HQ @ SXSW - Day 2 on March 10, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Comedian Bill Cosby attends 2014 American Comedy Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, FL - NOVEMBER 21: Actor Bill Cosby performs at the King Center for the Performing Arts on November 21, 2014 in Melbourne, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
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