On September 25, Bill Cosby was found guilty of felony sexual assault. Judge O’Neill, a judge in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, stated, “This was a serious crime… Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come.” The court sentenced celebrity Cosby to three-to 10-years. The court designated Cosby, a “sexually violent predator.” This classification mandates lifetime registration, lifetime mandatory counseling and notice to any community that Cosby moves to, after release from prison, that a “sexually violent predator” lives in their area.
Fortune magazine, in 2016, estimated Cosby’s assets at $400 million, which included homes in New York, Massachusetts and Nevada. On September 25, he left a life of luxury for an existence behind barbed wire and concrete walls in a state prison.
Cosby, 81 years old, and legally blind, will serve a minimum of three years in the Pennsylvania state prison system. He left the court in handcuffs to be processed into Montgomery County Correctional Facility and was transferred to Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institute at Phoenix.
Initially, he will be assessed his physical healthcare, psychological treatment needs, and his security level, to determine which of 22 state prisons will be his future home. According to Pennsylvania Department of Corrections spokeswoman, Susan McNaughton, “He will be one of just 83 inmates aged 80 or older, and one of very few who are legally blind.”
In all probability, since he is legally blind, he will be assigned another inmate, who is paid 19 to 42 cents an hour, to assist him and lead him through the facility.
In Pennsylvania state prisons, as with most inmates, Cosby will be allowed to receive and send emails, which are reviewed for security purposes. Most inmates use prison-approved tablet computers.
In all likelihood, since he is a celebrity, and a sex offender, Cosby will probably not be assigned to a general unit–for security reasons. Prisons have their own unique culture, and a sex offender is at the very bottom of the prison hierarchy. For example, Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was kept in protective custody for a period of time for his own safety. Protective custody means locked up in a single cell.
Bill Cosby has spent one week in a Pennsylvania prison as of October 2. Cosby’s spokesman and a prison spokeswoman have indicated that he is in “good spirits” and feels safe with prison trustees to guide him around. Cosby talks daily by phone to his wife Camille.
There is no doubt that in his cell, Bill Cosby is no longer smiling!
Sponsored by the Fishman Firm: Brian Fishman has been practicing law in Philadelphia since 2002. His practice has been dedicated almost exclusively to criminal law, although he also handles personal injury and civil right matters. Brian has been admitted to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey and in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. After graduating cum laude from Temple University Law School where he was an editor on the Temple Law Review, Brian went to work as an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. There he tried hundreds of cases, including many jury trials. Brian litigated cases in Pennsylvania’s Municipal Court, Juvenile Court and the Court of Common Pleas. Brian, as a Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney, prosecuted a variety of serious criminal cases including rape, firearm offenses, attempted murder, burglary, robbery, DUIs and narcotics offenses. Brian can be contacted at his firm’s web site: http://www.thefishmanfirm.com/