Fit­ted with an­kle bracelet, Cosby to be pris­oner in­side home

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - NEWS - By Kris­ten De Groot and Michael R. Sisak

PHILADEL­PHIA » Two days af­ter his con­vic­tion, Bill Cosby has al­ready started life as an in­mate — though his sur­round­ings are far nicer than they likely will be in a few months.

A judge says Cosby will be con­fined to the same suburban Philadel­phia man­sion where ju­rors con­cluded he drugged and mo­lested a Tem­ple Univer­sity women’s bas­ket­ball ad­min­is­tra­tor, or­der­ing him to be out­fit­ted with a GPS an­kle bracelet to mon­i­tor com­pli­ance. Un­til sen­tenc­ing, Judge Steven O’Neill ruled Fri­day, the 80-year-old co­me­dian may leave his house only to meet with his lawyers or go to the doc­tor, and he must get per­mis­sion first.

It was the lat­est sign that Cosby’s past — a sor­did dou­ble life that gave lie to his carefully cul­ti­vated im­age as Amer­ica’s Dad — had fi­nally caught up with him.

Cosby was convicted Thurs­day of three counts of ag­gra­vated in­de­cent as­sault and now faces the prospect of spend­ing the rest of his life be­hind bars. His team blasted the re­trial as a “pub­lic lynch­ing” and be­gan look­ing ahead to an appeal.

Lawyers not con­nected with the case said the de­fense might have a win­ning ar­gu­ment.

Pros­e­cu­tors put five other women on the stand to tes­tify that they, too, were abused by the for­mer TV star, but the strat­egy that helped them se­cure a con­vic­tion could also serve as a tem­plate for his lawyers seek­ing to over­turn the jury’s ver­dict.

Christo­pher Adams, a de­fense at­tor­ney whose clients have in­cluded for­mer NBA star Jayson Wil­liams, said the judge’s de­ci­sion to al­low the “prior bad acts” tes­ti­mony could have tainted the jury.

“It’s one thing if they looked at one or two, but five? He wasn’t charged with be­ing a se­rial as­saulter,” he said.

For­mer fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor David Ax­el­rod, now in pri­vate prac­tice in Philadel­phia, agreed that Cosby’s team has a shot at con­vinc­ing an ap­peals court that the judge went too far.

Chief accuser An­drea Con­stand, mean­while, took to Twit­ter to thank pros­e­cu­tors in her first com­ment on the ver­dict. “Truth pre­vails,” she wrote. Con­stand, now 45, first went to po­lice in 2005 with her al­le­ga­tion that Cosby had knocked her out with three blue bills he called “your friends” and then pen­e­trated her with his fin­gers as she lay im­mo­bi­lized, un­able to re­sist or say no. But the district at­tor­ney at the time halted a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter just four weeks, declar­ing the case too weak to be pros­e­cuted.

The cur­rent district at­tor­ney, Kevin Steele, who made the de­ci­sion to retry Cosby af­ter last year’s hung jury, said in a state­ment Fri­day he hoped the case would “pave the road for fu­ture vic­tims to come for­ward to law en­force­ment and have their al­le­ga­tion in­ves­ti­gated.”

How the jury ar­rived at its ver­dict re­mained a mys­tery. O’Neill did not im­me­di­ately make pub­lic the names of the seven men and five women, prompt­ing The As­so­ci­ated Press and other news or­ga­ni­za­tions to go to court Fri­day in a bid to get them re­leased.

The AP does not typ­i­cally iden­tify peo­ple who say they are vic­tims of sex­ual as­sault un­less they grant per­mis­sion, as Con­stand has done.

MATT ROURKE - THE AP

A judge has con­fined en­ter­tainer Bill Cosby to his home in Elkins Park, shown here, un­til sen­tenc­ing for his con­vic­tion Thurs­day of drug­ging and mo­lest­ing Tem­ple Univer­sity em­ployee An­drea Con­stand in this same suburban Philadel­phia man­sion in 2005.

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