Bill Cosby is serving a three- to 10-year prison term for felony sex assault. A newly released prison photo shows Bill Cosby smiling with a disposable mask hanging off his face.
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections recently updated Cosby’s custody image, something routinely done to document changes to inmates’ appearance as they age. Cosby’s new photo was taken on September 4.
Later in the evening, a blurry picture was tweeted from Cosby’s verified account showing him using what appeared to be a prison telephone and pulling a mask away from his chin as he smiled.
Bill Cosby was convicted of felony sex assault and is serving a three- to 10-year prison term. (Pennsylvania Department of Corrections via AP)
The caption said: “This photo was taken by his publicist, Andrew Wyatt, during his first virtual video conference call with Mr. Bill Cosby last week. We are posting this to reassure his family and supporters that he is doing OK during this pandemic.”
Cosby, 83, was convicted of felony sex assault and is serving a three- to 10-year prison term.
An appeals court had upheld his conviction, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed this year to review two key issues in the case, with the appeal scheduled to be heard on December 1.
Bill Cosby, a once-beloved comedian long known as “America’s Dad”, became the first celebrity convicted of sexual misconduct in the MeToo era when he was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.
Bill Cosby sexual assault cases
American comedian Bill Cosby has been the subject of publicized sexual assault allegations, with the earliest incidents allegedly taking place in the mid-1960s and his conviction for aggravated indecent assault happening in 2018. He has been accused by numerous women of rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, child sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct. Assault allegations against Cosby became more public after a stand-up routine by comedian Hannibal Buress became popular in October 2014, alluding to Cosby's covert sexual misbehavior; thereafter, many additional claims were made. The dates of the alleged incidents have spanned from 1965 to 2008 in ten U.S. states and in one Canadian province.
Bill Cosby has maintained his innocence and repeatedly denied the allegations made against him. He was asked about the allegations in November 2014 and responded, "I don't talk about it!" He has declined to publicly discuss the accusations in interviews in the past, although he told Florida Today that "people shouldn't have to go through that and shouldn't answer to innuendos." In May 2015, he said, "I have been in this business 52 years and I've never seen anything like this. Reality is a situation and I can't speak."
Following the allegations, numerous organizations severed ties with Bill Cosby, and revoked honors and titles previously awarded to him. Media organizations pulled reruns of The Cosby Show and other television programs featuring Cosby from syndication. Twenty-five colleges and universities rescinded honorary degrees. Adweek reporter Jason Lynch noted that the "media landscape has changed considerably—and has now been joined by the far-less-forgiving social media arena."
Most of the alleged acts fall outside the statute of limitations for criminal legal proceedings, but criminal charges have been filed against Bill Cosby in one case and numerous civil lawsuits have been brought against him. As of November 2015, eight related civil suits were active against him. Gloria Allred is representing 33 of the alleged victims. In July 2015, some court records were unsealed and released to the public from Andrea Constand's 2005 civil suit against Cosby. The full transcript of his deposition was released to the media by a court reporting service. In his testimony, Cosby admitted to casual sex involving recreational use of the sedative-hypnotic methaqualone (Quaaludes) with a series of young women, and he acknowledged that his dispensing the prescription drug was illegal.
In December 2015, three Class II felony charges of aggravated indecent assault were filed against Bill Cosby in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, based on allegations by Constand concerning incidents in January 2004. Cosby's first trial in June 2017 ended in a mistrial. Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault at retrial on April 26, 2018, and on September 25, 2018, he was sentenced to three to ten years in state prison and fined $25,000 plus the cost of the prosecution, $43,611. Bill Cosby appealed on June 25, 2019, and the verdict was subsequently upheld and granted an appeal by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.