PHILADELPHIA – The Latest on Bill Cosby’s sentencing for sexual assault (all times local):
The judge set to sentence actor Bill Cosby on sex assault charges is limiting the number of other accusers who can testify next week.
The 81-year-old Cosby’s potential sentence ranges from the 30-year maximum term to probation. State guidelines suggest a one- to four-year sentence.
Prosecutors want some of Cosby’s 60 other accusers to testify Monday to show that a pattern of sexual misconduct makes him a predator and a danger. Five of them testified at the April retrial, when a jury convicted Cosby of drugging and molesting a woman in 2004.
Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill in a ruling Wednesday asks prosecutors if they hope to call the five trial witnesses. But he says he won’t let other accusers take the stand.
Cosby’s lawyers oppose the testimony.
Bill Cosby could be sent to prison next week for drugging and molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004, in the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.
Cosby is due in court Monday for a two-day sentencing hearing that follows his conviction on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
The judge’s options are broad because the state guideline range of about one to four years spans the gamut from a prison term to a jail stint to house arrest or probation. The maximum term is 10 years per count.
Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill will be asked to weigh the violent nature of the crime against the 81-year-old Cosby’s age, health and legacy.
Legal experts think he’ll hand down a sentence in the middle of the guidelines, to blunt criticism from both sides and avoid being overturned.
Cosby has been on house arrest since the April conviction.