NORRISTOWN — As a Montgomery County judge sent Bill Cosby to prison for up to 10 years, several women who accused the actor of uncharged sexual misconduct and who attended his trial and sentencing hearing uttered “Yes!” and raised their fists in approval.
The women, including model Janice Dickinson, later embraced a smiling Andrea Constand, the woman Cosby was convicted of sexually assaulting at his Cheltenham mansion in 2004.
Constand did not address the media after her attacker’s sentence was imposed but in a victim impact statement made public Tuesday she thanked investigators, prosecutors, her lawyers, friends and family and even the jurors who convicted Cosby at a trial in April.
“Instead of looking back, I am looking forward to looking forward. I want to get to the place where the person I was meant to be gets a second chance. I know that I still have room to grow,” Constand wrote.
Cosby’s wife, Camille, and his children did not attend the two-day sentencing hearing.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, flanked by co-prosecutors M. Stewart Ryan and Kristen Feden at a news conference, said “justice was served.”
“It’s been a long time coming but it arrived when a convicted felon named William H. Cosby Jr. left the courtroom in handcuffs, headed off to state prison for his crimes,” Steele said to a room filled with news media from across the nation.
For decades, Steele, said, Cosby was able “to hide his true self and hide his crimes using his fame and fortune,” accusing Cosby of hiding behind Dr. Cliff Huxtable, the fictional character he played on “The Cosby Show” from 1984 to 1992.
“A lot of people believed that that’s who he was. But we know otherwise. He used his acting skills, that endearing TV personality, to win over his victims and then keep them silent about what he did to them,” Steele said. “So now finally, Bill Cosby has been unmasked and we have seen the real man as he is headed off to prison.”
Steele praised Constand’s courage.
“She has been through an ordeal these past 14 years and she has been solid and steadfast. To put herself out like this for years in front of a worldwide audience is extremely difficult for anyone. She’s been a rock. She’s done the right thing over and over and over again,” said Steele, thanking Constand for her cooperation. “She knew that it was important to see that justice was served.”
Outside the courthouse, shortly after Cosby was transported to jail, his spokesman Andrew Wyatt called the case an “injustice.” Wyatt said there will be an appeal which will challenge the authenticity of some of the evidence, specifically a recording of a phone conversation between Cosby and Constand’s mother, which prosecutors used to convict Cosby.
“Mr. Cosby has clearly been denied his right to a fair trial,” Wyatt said. “These injustices must be corrected immediately.”
When asked how Cosby is doing, Wyatt added, “Mr. Cosby is doing great and Mr. Cosby knows that God is watching over him. He knows that these are lies. Mr. Cosby is doing fine. He’s holding up well.”