Bill Cosby a ‘sexually violent predator,’ says Pennsylvania board

Bill Cosby walks out after the verdict was announced in the Montgomery County Courthouse on April 26, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Mark Makela/Getty Images

A Pennsylvania state advisory board recommended that Bill Cosby be deemed a “sexually violent predator,” which would require the convicted comedian to undergo lifetime counselling and register as a sex offender, prosecutors said in a court filing on Tuesday.

The 81-year-old entertainer, known as “America’s Dad” for his role in the 1980s TV hit The Cosby Show, was found guilty in April of drugging and sexually assaulting a former friend at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004.

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The victim in that case, Andrea Constand, was one of dozens of women who have accused the comedian of a string of sexual assaults dating back decades. Hers was the only accusation recent enough to be criminally prosecuted.

In a court filing on Tuesday, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele asked Judge Steven O’Neill to schedule a hearing to determine whether to accept the recommendation of the state’s sexual offender assessment board.

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Cosby will have the right to challenge the recommendation.

“We will see you in court,” Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said in an email.

Under Pennsylvania state law, a sexually violent predator is someone convicted of a sexually violent offence “who has a mental abnormality or personality disorder the makes the person likely to engage in predatory sexually violent offences.”

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Sexually violent predators in the state must register for life with Pennsylvania police and attend sex offender counselling at least once a month for life.

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Law enforcement officials are required to provide neighbours, local day care centers and schools with the name, address and photograph of all offenders in the area.

Cosby’s conviction came amid the growing anti-sexual assault and anti-harassment #MeToo movement, aimed at empowering women and holding men accountable for sexual misconduct.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

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