In case you missed it, Bill Cosby was recently convicted of sexual assault. The well-known TV personality was convicted on three assault charges at the end of April and could face up to 30 years in prison. However, legal experts say the 80-year-old comedian will likely spend less time – if any – behind bars. Why? For starters, Cosby’s defense team plans to appeal the guilty verdict on the grounds that the jury was prejudiced. Tom Mesereau, Cosby’s attorney, is expected to ask the court to give the actor home confinement during this process, which could take months or years.
Cosby’s case was the first high profile sexual assault trial to take place following the #MeToo movement. The guilty verdict was considered a turning point for our society and gave hope to sexual assault victims across the globe. Since his story first broke, countless female accusers, have come forward with stories with Cosby’s inappropriate, unwarranted actions. In a statement from the National Organization for Women, the verdict was a “notice to sexual predators everywhere”.
While Cosby was found guilty of the charges against him, unfortunately, justice may end there. As mentioned, his team is expected to appeal the verdict and ask for the $1 million bail to be revoked in exchange for home arrest. Because the appeals process can be so drawn out, there is question as to how Cosby’s age and health will play a role in any potential jail time. The judge in the case stated: “I’m not going to simply lock him up right now”, pointing to his age and good track record of showing up for all hearings related to the case. As of right now, Cosby must remain in his Pennsylvania home. In the event the judge allows Cosby to remain out of jail during the appeals process, there is a very good chance his age and health could eliminate any jail time.
Cosby may be facing 30 years of potential jail time, there is a good chance the three counts of indecent assault he was found guilty of will merge, which could reduce the maximum amount of jail time served. Cosby’s noted accusers and numerous other women who claim they were taken advantage of by the comedian say he should be required to spend time in prison. The bottom line? Whether Cosby serves time in jail or not, he was found guilty of the charges brought against him, invoking hope in sexual assault victims nationwide.
Over the last year, we have seen countless prominent Hollywood stars, sports icons, and others slapped with sexual harassment and assault allegations. The brave women who have come forward to tell their stories (beginning with the Harvey Weinstein accusers) have lit a fire that shows no sign of slowing down. The fact that Cosby was given a guilty verdict is huge and shows how the tides are changing against sexual harassment. This is a huge step in the right direction and a trend we hope continues. In years past, this never would have happened to such a big celebrity – guaranteed. As Dallas sexual assault lawyers, we have represented countless victims of these serious crimes and are prepared to do the same for you today. Please give Janovsky & Associates a call today to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Janovsky, a leading Dallas sexual assault attorney.