According to reports, Cosby's defence is pushing instead for house arrest. The designation means that Cosby, who is legally blind, will be subject to lifetime reporting requirements, meaning that he will have to advise law enforcement authorities of where he is residing.
Though the three charges each carry a maximum possible sentence of 10 years, Judge O'Neill announced Monday that the charges had been merged into one because they all stem from the same event.
Bill Cosby, the comedian once revered as "America's Dad", has been deemed a sexually violent predator by the judge who will sentence him today to up to 10 years in prison. From there, he'll be taken to SCI Phoenix, a new state prison outside Philadelphia, where staff will assess his physical, medical and security needs.
Cosby became the first black actor to star in a prime-time TV show, "I Spy", in 1965.
She is one of about 60 women who have accused Cosby of drugging and violating them over the past 50 years.
The Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, which reviewed Cosby's case, recommended that he be labeled a sexually violent predator. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.
Minutes before a handcuffed Bill Cosby walked out of the courtroom as an 81-year-old convicted sex offender, he removed his dark pinstripe blazer and purple tie, and rolled up the sleeves on his crisp white shirt.More news: Trump gives news conference in New York City
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This week's sentencing hearing began with the expectations that Cosby would indeed be sentenced, but defense attorneys tried a last-ditch effort to stall the proceedings on Monday. She has since released a statement accusing Cosby of taking away her "beautiful, young spirit" and "crushing it". "Her courage and her strength was enough for me to say, 'Let's keep going'". "Finally, Bill Cosby has been unmasked, and we've seen the real man as he's heading off to prison".
Ms. Constand said Cosby gave her what she thought were herbal pills to ease stress, then sexually assaulted her as she lay immobilised on a couch.
Over the two day sentencing phase Cosby's defense team pushed for house arrest, Judge Steven O'Neil flat our refusing that proposal.
Prior to the sentencing, Cosby had the opportunity to take the stand and ask the judge for leniency and express remorse, but he chose not to.
And he ordered Cosby to go to prison immediately.
Cosby's attorneys have already filed an appeal.
Women's advocates hailed Cosby's sentence as a landmark #MeToo moment.
"This judge. has actually given a rather lenient sentence", Napolitano said. "He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature, and my trust in myself and others", she added in a five-page victim impact statement.
Steele said Cosby could be sent to Laurel Highlands, a state prison for lower-risk inmates on the other side of the state, about 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. "So lenient that I nearly wouldn't be surprised if Cosby's people only file an appeal of the guilty verdict".