Bill Cosby Is Guilty. What’s Next?

Bill Cosby Is Guilty. What’s Next?

Dennis McAndrews, a Pennsylvania lawyer who has followed the case closely, said that the most likely scenario, because of Mr. Cosby’s age and the similarity of the counts, is that Judge Steven T. O’Neill will merge the counts and base the sentencing on just one count. As a result, Mr. Cosby will probably face a maximum sentence of 10 years.

How long will Mr. Cosby be free on bail?


Mr. Cosby was ordered to stay at his home in Elkins Park, Pa., as part of the agreement under which the judge allowed him to stay free, on bail, until his sentencing.

Matt Rourke/Associated Press

No sentencing date has been set, but that would typically occur within two to three months. Until then, Mr. Cosby remains free on $1 million bail but is essentially confined by order of the court to his Pennsylvania home until the sentencing hearing.

Ms. Ashcroft said Mr. Cosby had not been shown any special treatment when he was allowed to leave on bail. Bail would have been revoked if he were an especially dangerous risk to society or was a flight risk. Where he did have an advantage was the ability to meet the $1 million bail, she said.

Now his lawyers will probably ask Judge O’Neill to postpone Mr. Cosby’s incarceration until after their appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court is decided. Weighed against that, however, is any flight risk, something emphasized by the district attorney, Kevin R. Steele, at the trial on Thursday.

In the interim, experts said, Mr. Cosby will be classified as a sex offender and will be required to register with the state police.

Where might Mr. Cosby serve his sentence?

Inmates with short sentences often serve them in a county jail, but Mr. Cosby is likely to enter the state correctional system, experts said. Susan McNaughton, communications director for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, said the state has 22 institutions to care for men, and it was too early to say which one he would go to. All are set up to cope with elderly inmates, and there is no facility that is especially designated for such prisoners.

What are the grounds for an appeal?


Mr. Cosby’s sentencing will be held inside the courthouse where he was tried, the historic Montgomery County Courthouse.

Corey Perrine/Associated Press

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS Mr. Cosby’s spokesman mentioned that issue as a likely ground for appeal in a conversation he had after the verdict. Mr. Cosby’s lawyers argued in court that there is little evidence that the sexual encounter with Ms. Constand occurred in January 2004, as she testified. Any earlier and the state’s 12-year statute of limitations would have expired by the time he was charged in December 2015.

TESTIMONY FROM THE FIVE ADDITIONAL WOMEN Ordinarily, prosecutors cannot introduce evidence or accusations of prior bad behavior. It is viewed as too prejudicial for a jury as it considers the facts of the single case before it. But here five women were allowed to describe their own encounters with Mr. Cosby. The judge did not provide a legal reasoning for his decision to allow five, compared with one other accuser he permitted to testify at the first trial, and the introduction of evidence like this has been allowed in other cases, but several experts said it is a likely target of the defense team.

“This is an enormous issue that is going to be argued on appeal,” said Shan Wu, a former sex-crimes prosecutor in Washington.

THE JUDGE’S REFUSAL TO RECUSE HIMSELF Defense lawyers had sought to have Judge O’Neill replaced before the trial because the judge’s wife has been an active supporter of sexual assault victims. Judge O’Neill would not recuse himself, and experts said higher courts have typically not viewed spousal affiliations as grounds for judicial recusal, but the defense could revisit the topic.

THE DEFENSE’S INABILITY TO INTRODUCE EVIDENCE FROM SHERI WILLIAMS Ms. Williams, a friend of Ms. Constand, testified during Ms. Constand’s civil suit against Mr. Cosby. But Mr. Cosby’s lawyers had sought to have her testify at the trial, and when they could not find her, they asked that her deposition testimony be read to the jury. It’s unclear what the defense hoped to show with Ms. Williams’s testimony, but The Associated Press reported that the defense thought it would show that Ms. Constand was not as unaware of Mr. Cosby’s romantic intentions as she had indicated.

The judge denied, reasoning that prosecutors had been unable to cross-examine the witness when she gave the deposition. Mr. Wu said the defense’s inability to produce this witness may be something they emphasize on appeal, especially since the prosecution was allowed to bring five prior bad acts witnesses.

THE JUROR WHO WAS KEPT ON Before the retrial started, the defense lawyers had asked to bar one of the jurors who had been selected to hear the case. They said the juror had been overheard by another prospective juror saying he thought Mr. Cosby was guilty. After several hours of discussion with both sides, Judge O’Neill ruled that the juror could continue on the case, but he never made his reasoning publicly known.

What happens to the civil suits?

The review of Mr. Cosby’s behavior is now likely to shift to the arena of the civil courts, where he has been sued by several women. Many of the women are suing him for defamation because, they say, he or his staff branded them as liars by dismissing their allegations as fabrications. The suits had mostly been delayed, pending the outcome of the criminal trial but are now likely to draw momentum from the guilty verdict.

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