Actor Bill Cosby jailed for up to 10 years for sexual assault

Actor Bill Cosby has been sentenced to up to 10 years in jail for sexually assaulting a woman in 2004.

Judge Steven O’Neill sentenced the 81-year-old to three to 10 years behind bars on Tuesday in a Pennsylvania courtroom.

He is the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to be sent to prison.

Prosecutors were seeking a sentence of five to 10 years in prison. Cosby’s defence lawyers asked for house arrest.

Known to millions as America’s Dad, Cosby was convicted in April of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home 14 years ago.

More than 60 women have made similar allegations.

The comedian did not make a statement in court.

He sat back in his chair, with his head on the headrest as the sentence was read.

“It is time for justice. Mr Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The time has come,” Judge O’Neill said.

He quoted from Ms Constand’s own statement to the court, in which she said Cosby took her “beautiful, young spirit and crushed it.”

The punishment came at the end of a two-day hearing at which the judge declared Cosby a “sexually violent predator” – a modern day scarlet letter which will subject him to monthly counselling for the rest of his life.

It also means that neighbours and schools will be notified of his whereabouts.

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