Bill Cosby’s ac­cuser speaks out fol­low­ing en­ter­tainer’s sen­tenc­ing.

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @mont­co­court­news on Twit­ter

NORRISTOWN >> As a Mont­gomery County judge sent Bill Cosby to prison for up to 10 years, sev­eral women who ac­cused the ac­tor of un­charged sex­ual mis­con­duct and who at­tended his trial and sen­tenc­ing hear­ing ut­tered “Yes!” and raised their fists in ap­proval.

The women, in­clud­ing model Jan­ice Dick­in­son, later em­braced a smil­ing An­drea Con­stand, the woman Cosby was con­victed of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing at his Chel­tenham man­sion in 2004.

Con­stand did not ad­dress the me­dia af­ter her at­tacker’s sen­tence was im­posed but in a vic­tim im­pact state­ment made pub­lic Sept. 25 she thanked in­ves­ti­ga­tors, prose­cu­tors, her lawyers, friends and fam­ily and even the ju­rors who con­victed Cosby at a trial in April.

“In­stead of look­ing back, I am look­ing for­ward to look­ing for­ward. I want to get to the place where the per­son I was meant to be gets a sec­ond chance. I know that I still have room to grow,” Con­stand wrote.

Cosby’s wife, Camille, and his chil­dren did not at­tend the two-day sen­tenc­ing hear­ing.

Mont­gomery County Dis­trict At­tor­ney Kevin R. Steele, flanked by co-prose­cu­tors M. Stew­art Ryan and Kris­ten Fe­den at a news con­fer­ence, said “jus­tice was served.”

“It’s been a long time com­ing but it ar­rived when a con­victed felon named Wil­liam H. Cosby Jr. left the court­room in hand­cuffs, headed off to state prison for his crimes,” Steele said to a room filled with news me­dia from across the na­tion.

For decades, Steele, said, Cosby was able “to hide his true self and hide his crimes us­ing his fame and for­tune,” ac­cus­ing Cosby of hid­ing be­hind Dr. Cliff Huxtable, the fic­tional char­ac­ter he played on “The Cosby Show” from 1984 to 1992.

“A lot of peo­ple be­lieved that that’s who he was. But we know oth­er­wise. He used his act­ing skills, that en­dear­ing TV per­son­al­ity, to win over his vic­tims and then keep them silent about what he did to them,” Steele said. “So now fi­nally, Bill Cosby has been un­masked and we have seen the real man as he is headed off to prison.”

Steele praised Con­stand’s courage.

“She has been through an ordeal these past 14 years and she has been solid and stead­fast. To put her­self out like this for years in front of a world­wide au­di­ence is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult for any­one. She’s been a rock. She’s done the right thing over and over and over again,” said Steele, thank­ing Con­stand for her co­op­er­a­tion. “She knew that it was im­por­tant to see that jus­tice was served.” Out­side the court­house, shortly af­ter Cosby was trans­ported to jail, his spokesman An­drew Wyatt called the case an “in­jus­tice.” Wyatt said there will be an ap­peal which will chal­lenge the au­then­tic­ity of some of the ev­i­dence, specif­i­cally a record­ing of a phone con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Cosby and Con­stand’s mother, which prose­cu­tors used to con­vict Cosby.

“Mr. Cosby has clearly been de­nied his right to a fair trial,” Wyatt said. “These in­jus­tices must be cor­rected im­me­di­ately.”

When asked how Cosby is do­ing, Wyatt added, “Mr. Cosby is do­ing great and Mr. Cosby knows that God is watch­ing over him. He knows that these are lies. Mr. Cosby is do­ing fine. He’s hold­ing up well.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

This is Bill Cosby’s book­ing photo af­ter he was taken into cus­tody to be­gin serv­ing his 3- to 10-year prison term on sex­ual as­sault charges.

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