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Cosby Loses Freedom but Maintains Dignity

Prior to his sentencing on aggravated indecent assault charges Tuesday, Bill Cosby had already been stripped of his “America’s Dad” persona.

Then, Judge Steven T. O’Neill ruled that Cosby would be classified as a sexually violent predator.

The designation means he’ll have to undergo a lifetime of monthly counseling and report quarterly to authorities.

Cosby’s name also will appear on a sex-offender registry sent to neighbors, schools and victims.

O’Neill then sentenced Cosby to a three- to 10-year stint in state prison, completing the fall of one of America’s most renowned entertainers.

In April, a jury returned three guilty verdicts against Cosby for a 2004 encounter with former Temple University employee Andrea Constand. The conviction officially brought to an end any hopes Cosby held of resuming his entertainment career.

As his case unfolded after being charged just two days before what many believed was the expiration of Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, colleges and universities around the nation stripped Cosby of honorary degrees and other distinguished awards and posts.

Just prior to the announcement of his sentence Tuesday, the Television Critics Association voted unanimously to rescind its career achievement award Cosby received in 2002.

Even historically Black colleges and universities — institutions in which Cosby has provided more than $200 million in financial assistance — distanced themselves from the fallen star.

A-list celebrities, including those from his iconic 1980s smash hit “The Cosby Show,” either abandoned him or offered little to no show support during Cosby’s two criminal trials.

The first trial in 2017 ended with a hung jury with reports indicating that jurors were split 10-2 in favor of acquittal.

Just as this year’s second trial was getting underway, Cosby’s daughter, Ensa, died of renal failure at the age of 44.

The latest trial in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, was wrought with controversy after both assistant district attorneys made racially charged and offensive remarks during jury selection and a just-seated juror proclaimed that “Cosby is guilty, we can all go home” before testimony had even begun.

As mainstream media swooped in for the kill, others, out of their reliance on reports from those outlets or out of sheer ignorance, began speaking out against Cosby.

Yet the star never wavered, repeatedly proclaiming his innocence through the Black Press.

When Cosby arrived for his sentencing Tuesday, he wore a huge smile and walked briskly up the courthouse steps. He held his head high and waved to loyal fans who called out his name above derisive and derogatory shouts of those who wanted to see him jailed.

At 81, with a groundbreaking entertainment career behind him and a prison term ahead of him, Cosby remained steady.

He didn’t speak during the sentencing hearings, refused to allow anyone speak on his behalf and held his held high, smiling.

Having been stripped of his reputation, career and liberty, Cosby still managed to keep one thing intact: his dignity.

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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One Comment

  1. Thank god that that man who sexually assaulted literally dozens of women could retain his dignity with head held high! Jesus christ, have some fucking shame.

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