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Why Did Bill Cosby Go to Prison?

For decades, Bill Cosby was considered an American icon and beloved as one of the country’s most popular comedians and television stars. However, in 2018, he was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison for sexual assault, forever changing his public persona and legacy.

Cosby’s Rise to Fame

Long before his imprisoned downfall, Cosby achieved widespread success and influence as both a groundbreaking comedian and sitcom star.

Pioneering Stand-Up Comic

Cosby broke barriers in the 1960s as one of the first African American comedians to reach a mainstream white audience with his family-friendly observational humor.

The Cosby Show

As the star of the hit 80s sitcom The Cosby Show, Cosby cementing his place in pop culture history as the benevolent Dr. Huxtable in one of TV’s most beloved families.

America’s Dad

For years, Cosby was revered as “America’s Dad” due to his hugely popular comedy act and television role as a wise patriarch–a reputation that would later clash horribly with his crimes.

Sexual Assault Allegations

In the 2010s, Cosby faced escalating public accusations that he had drugged and sexually assaulted dozens of women over decades.

Comedian’s Accusations

Cosby’s wholesome reputation first became tarnished in 2014 when comedian Hannibal Burress went viral for calling out Cosby as an alleged serial rapist during a stand-up act.

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Mounting Allegations

Following Burress’ comments, first a trickle and then a flood of women came forward alleging Cosby had drugged and assaulted them in incidents stretching back to the 1960s.

Career Fallout

Netflix, TV networks, and other companies cut ties with Cosby as the allegations mounted, abruptly ending his lucrative entertainment career.

Arrest, Trial, and Conviction

The increasing public pressure led authorities to eventually arrest and put Cosby on trial for sexual assault in Pennsylvania, resulting in his conviction.

Arrest and Charges

In 2015 Cosby was arrested and arraigned on charges of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004.

Two Trials

Cosby’s first trial ended with a hung jury, but during a 2018 retrial he was convicted and faced up to 10 years in prison under state sentencing guidelines.

Judge’s Sentence

The judge sentenced the 81-year-old Cosby to 3-10 years, calling his assault of the victim “extremely egregious” and lambasting his unrepentant attitude.

Life in Prison

Cosby began serving his sentence immediately at a state prison near Philadelphia where he occupies a single cell and has had clashes with the prison staff.

Prison Conditions

As inmate NN7687, Cosby adheres to a strict schedule and has limited contact with the outside world from his small maximum security cell where he sleeps alone on a steel bed.

Legal Appeals

Cosby has unsuccessfully tried appeals seeking bail, house arrest, and overturning his conviction, but continues fighting his sentence from behind bars.

Declining Health

Now in his 80s, Cosby’s health has declined in prison, though he remains mentally sharp. He uses a cane to walk and his vision has deteriorated.

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The imprisonment of Bill Cosby represents a shocking and dramatic fall from grace unparalleled in American pop culture history. His wholesome comedy legacy is forever tainted by his conviction for sexually assaulting a woman at the height of his fame and influence. Instead of quietly enjoying retirement, Cosby now resides behind bars, completing what is likely the final act of his once illustrious entertainment career.

Prison Inside Team

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Welcome to ‘Prison Inside,’ a blog dedicated to shedding light on the often hidden and misunderstood world within correctional facilities. Through firsthand accounts, personal narratives, and insightful reflections, we delve into the lives of those who find themselves behind bars, offering a unique perspective on the challenges, triumphs, and transformations that unfold within the confines of these walls.

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