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Awaiting Bill Cosby Sentencing; Bill Cosby Sentenced to Three to 10 Years in State Prison. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired September 25, 2018 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] KATHY MCKEE, BILL COSBY ACCUSER: -- that I just decided that I was going to speak up for them and help them and say it happened to me also. I can only pray to God that somehow our world that we live in now can make some changes and some shifts and we can all look and see our mothers, our sisters, our daughters in the faces of some of these victims, of some of these women survivors, and straighten it up and just stop it. That's it.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Kathy McKee --
MCKEE: I don't know what else to say.
BALDWIN: I'm just hanging on your words.
Kathy McKee, thank you so much for coming on, sharing your truth and being so open and being so brave. Thank you.
MCKEE: Thank you.
BALDWIN: So she is one of many women who came forward with accusations regarding Bill Cosby.
If you just are joining us, he has now officially been sentenced by this judge in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He will be serving a minimum of three, maximum of 10 years in a state prison there, in addition to paying this $25,000 fine.
The question, as we were just discussing, Mark Geragos, Areva Martin, Yodit Tewolde, about whether or not he goes immediately to prison or whether he can walk out?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: My Pennsylvania guru is texting me --
BALDWIN: Take me through.
GERAGOS: -- and telling me they have in Pennsylvania what are called post-sentencing motions. As Areva was alluding to, you can challenge the trial itself and the sentence itself. In Pennsylvania, the way it works, you do a post-sentencing mention. He could leave him out post- sentencing motions, which challenges both the sentence, findings, any trial errors, things of that nature, which would be kind of a middle ground so to speak. That still intrigues me immensely as to whether that happens or not. I think that tells us a lot?
BALDWIN: So that's what we're waiting for?
GERAGOS. Correct. That's exactly what we're waiting for.
BALDWIN: Whether or not --
GERAGOS: Right now, we want to know, is he going into custody now or he is going home under home detention under a monitor. That's the $64,000 question.
BALDWIN: We have cameras pointed at that courthouse in Norristown, PA.
Yodit, I think we still have you. I'm thinking of Kathy speaking up and speaking about --we read all this color in the courtroom. I read words like Bill Cosby smirking, scowling, smiling when he sat in that courtroom. Kathy said she felt that he has yet to show remorse. Do you think he's been remorseful at all?
YODIT TEWOLDE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, I don't. That was obviously a sign -- you'll remember during the guilt/innocence phase of the trial, he made faces and lashed out. Cosby is very emotional. He team has tried to tell him to calm down and not show emotion or hasn't. And that's just who he is. He shows no indication he's been remorseful whatsoever. He could have during the punishment portion. Someone said earlier that could have had negative implications for their pending appeal. But we're also missing the fact that are still pending civil suits. The finding will have negatives on that as well. But listening to your past question, or the accuser, earlier just now --
BALDWIN: The survivor.
TEWOLDE: The survivor, yes, the survivor -- having to hear her cry, and just be so grateful to just even get the minimum, just to be heard. If you remember, this was the only claim that wasn't legally barred. It was almost going to be legally barred but the only claim out of 60 accusations and allegations that were made, the only one that made it to court. So this is for everyone.
BALDWIN: That's a great point. You're absolutely right, with all these women coming forward, it was Andrea Constand's complaint and accusation that came to the light of day.
Areva, you're listening to our conversation and also -- oh, we don't have Areva.
We're getting some news from the judge. We're getting some comments from the judge.
Let's go to Athena Jones, who is covering this for us in New York.
Athena, what are you reading? ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brooke. We're getting
more from this judge who said, "No one is above the law and no one should be treated differently or disproportionally." That's what we're getting from Judge Steven O'Neill. This is still ongoing. There are some other issues to be addressed.
We also know Judge O'Neill said he had "given great weight to the victim impact testimony in this case" and he called it "powerful." And it was powerful. Andrea Constand put out a five-page impact statement. It is powerful. She talked about the insurmountable stress and anxiety she suffered as a result of this assault, the pain, anguish, the guilt, the confusion. She said, "Now more than 60 other women have self-identified as sexual assault victims of Bill Cosby. His decades-long reign of terror as a serial rapist is over." That's part of what Andrea Constand wrote in this victim impact statement. That was a statement that the judge said was powerful and that he took into consideration when deciding what to do with Bill Cosby. He repeatedly called this a serious crime.
[14:35:45] He went through all the other options and proposals and deemed home confinement was not sufficient. This is what he deemed sufficient, three to 10 years in State prison and all the other punishments we mentioned, the $25,000 fine and the rest of it.
But this impact statement from Andrea Constand -- and her mother, father and sister also gave written victim impact statements to the court for consideration and spoke about just the trauma she has suffered in the 14 years that this incident took place, that Cosby took her youth and innocence and left her with anguish.
I will say, at the end of her victim impact statement, she said she's going to be looking to the future. "Instead of looking back, I'm looking forward to looking forward. I want to get to the place where the person was meant to be gets a second chance. I know that I still have room to grow."
That statement saying really this attack from Cosby derailed her in many ways and sent her into depression and sort of a life she did not expect to lead -- Brooke?
BALDWIN: Athena, thank you.
Mark, you hear about the judge really listened to these victim impact statements. It would make sense that would weigh heavily on this judge and the judge's decision. One piece of me is thinking how could they let this man out on bail after everything that's come before him, everything she just read?
GERAGOS: I've been on both sides of this. I'll tell you, one of the toughest things, obviously, for a defendant, but if you're defending the client, is to have to sit and listen to a victim impact statement.
GERAGOS: It's incredibly powerful but it kind of reaches into your soul. And on the other hand, I sat, I can think just recently, with the widow of the young man murdered in Arizona by the police officer when she watched the tape, and I watched her and had to put her in a bear hug as she went apoplectic. I understand there's a cathartic element to some degree. Watching your previous guest, one of the accusers, they find some solace in it. But I don't know if there isn't -- we push all of these things into the criminal justice system. And somebody who has been there for almost four decades, I will tell you that there's a great deal of frustration on my part that we're asking the criminal justice system to do too much. That's we're asking it to hold people accountable and punish them but it's almost as if we also want -- there's almost a psychological component. It's one of my beefs with the jail system as being a mental health system now. The criminal justice system in America takes on way too much. I don't know this is the solution. I know we're in this tumultuous point.
You had brought up and others have brought up the Kavanaugh moment as well. There's an awful lot to this where due process gets eroded in some cases. And then you feel the same -- I'm torn -- it's almost schizophrenic. Representing the people who are victims, defending the people who are accused, the maelstrom of emotion, and asking a justice system to try to fix that. It's ill equipped to dispense justice in the first place, let alone this. That's the frustration for those of us who are in it, and I think for somebody like the judge. I've talked to -- some of my best friends are judges.
GERAGOS: I've talked to judges at length about this and judges will always tell me the thing they despise -- despise is probably the wrong word. The thing they grapple with and lose sleep over are sentencing decisions. I can understand. It's one of the reasons I never wanted to be a judge. I have no inclination. I don't want to be the one to determine --
GERAGOS: -- to determine how long someone is going to have to go away and balance the interests of that family. Mind you, there is a family that impacts -- the defendant's got a family. The defendant has a circle, people who love him. You're impacting them as well as the victims.
[14:40:10] BALDWIN: Sure.
GERAGOS: And you have someone talking about Christine Blasey Ford. She's got all of these emotions as well. It's a horrible situation.
BALDWIN: We're going to keep this conversation rolling.
Mark Geragos, don't move an inch.
Also, Yodit, stand by.
Again, we know the news from the Judge. Bill Cosby has been sentenced three to 10 years in state prison. Will he head straight to prison? That's the decision we're waiting for. Our special live coverage continues out of Norristown, Pennsylvania.
BALDWIN: As we're waiting to find out the fate of Bill Cosby -- whether he walks out of that courtroom on bail or goes straight to prison -- we know Bill Cosby has been sentenced by the judge in Norristown, Pennsylvania to three to 10 years in state prison. So as we wait for potentially to see him and to hear from our reporter, we'll have all kinds of color from this courtroom, I want to bring in Genie Harrison. She's a victim's rights attorney who specializes in sexual harassment cases.
Genie, thank you for being with me.
GENIE HARRISON, VICTIMS RIGHTS ATTORNEY: My pleasure, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Talk me through, the news says three to five. He's been sentenced from three to 10 years. If you are a survivor -- we talked to Kathy McKee earlier, if you're Andrea Constand -- all of those who allege despicable acts against this man, how are you taking this sentencing?
HARRISON: I'm taking this sentencing as validation, some vindication, a beginning. It's not the end for the survivors. The survivors have a tremendous amount of personal work to do. But to realize that the system heard them and that the judge said that this happened and that Cosby is a sexually violent predator is an enormous weight off of the victims' shoulders and validation for them. That makes a huge difference in a survivor's life.
[14:45:18] BALDWIN: I hear you on validation. I don't know if you heard my interview from a tearful Kathy McKee, you know, who really actually spoke about sorrow. She said she'd been able to hold it together through this entire process, through the conviction, and then just something about the sentencing stirred something within her, and it's something that she says will likely never go away.
HARRISON: It will never go away. And I did hear your interview with her, which was gripping and remarkable. I have so much respect for Kathy McKee and Andrea Constand and all of the other victims. It does not ever go away. This victimization changes the course of a victim's life. But to know there are other victims and survivors who went through the same thing that you went through and to be able to stand up together and support one another in the judicial process and justice process and to get some vindication through that process is significant. This is a very emotional moment for the victims and survivors and they have a lot to process. But this is hopefully the beginning of some additional healing that they'll be able to go through because they know that the predator who changed the course of their lives and victimized them so egregiously is not going to be out there able to do this to anyone else, and I think that is huge.
BALDWIN: To hear -- I'm just trying to imagine Andrea Constand who is presumably in this courtroom with him. I'm starting to see some people come out. And the judge stood up and said, Mr. Cosby, quote, "You took her beautiful young spirit and crushed it. It's 34 months, 34 long months since this criminal complaint was brought. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come."
We talk about the criminal justice system working but, at the same time, you think of all the women who have come forward and it is this one woman's story -- is that Gloria Allred?
It's the one women's story that saw the light of day because of the statute of limitations and all that played into this.
HARRISON: That is always a challenge, the statute of limitations and the fear that the perpetrator plays on. It's fear and shame and blame. Those are the things that hold us back from coming forward but these victims came forward. Thank heavens there was a case that still had a live statute of limitations on it. And it is my hope that, in part, the brave victims and now transitioning into survivors in this case are going to be able to spark further movement throughout the country to change the statute of limitations so that these claims, these charges can still be brought because they need to be.
BALDWIN: Genie, thank you.
Stay with me. As we stay on these pictures, presumably, we will see Bill Cosby post-sentencing.
Andrea Constand, she has her arms folded in that gray blazer. Look at that, a bit of a smile after this process.
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BALDWIN: Can you imagine, just goose bumps, hugging Janice Dickinson there moments ago. Andrea, I can't begin to imagine the emotion, knowing Bill Cosby is going away.
And, by the way, he is going immediately. We just found out, Mark Geragos, that Cosby is going into custody immediately, straight to prison.
GERAGOS: You'd be hard pressed if you're a judge and someone is 80 to 81, to sentence to a minimum of three years and then say, OK, you can walk out the door. If there's ever going to be a flight risk, that would be the flight risk is the judge's determination.
[14:50:08] BALDWIN: What are you thinking looking at Andrea Constand before?
GERAGOS: I've never saw her like BALDWIN: Cheerful?
GERAGOS: Yes, so ebullient -- I guess is the word.
BALDWIN: Yes. Yes.
GERAGOS: And there was a great hug and a great deal of emotion with Janice Dickinson.
And Bill Cosby, I don't know if he can work his way through the system quick enough. He can try to get bail from higher court.
BALDWIN: Where is he right now? He is with his attorneys?
GERAGOS: Probably getting processed. One of the first thing they do is they surrender your money, jewelry, belt, shoe laces --
BALDWIN: Immediately, happens that fast?
GERAGOS: Happens immediately. There's no way they let you have any of that stuff. They put you on a suicide watch. Your attorney may be counseling you. I'm sure his attorney already counselled him that the overwhelming odds are you're going into custody. It's one of the toughest things for a criminal defense attorney general is saying you're walking in with me --
BALDWIN: How do you --
GERAGOS: -- but you're not walking out with me.
BALDWIN: How do you do that? How do you say that to your client?
GERAGOS: It's one of the reasons I do a lot more civil than criminal. I understand that everyone wants to focus on the victim, but there's a lot of humanity to spread around here. And whoever the lawyer is that's sitting there that is the counselor, you're invested in it. You're invested in this person. And it's gut wrenching when you have to leave them and tell them that's it, I'll come visit you once it gets processed.
BALDWIN: As we wait to see Bill Cosby himself, Yodit, let me go back over to you. His wife, Camille Cosby, has stood by him this entire time but you're not hearing that Bill Cosby was not in the courtroom. How do you interpret that?
TEWOLDE: It was very telling. This has got to be super hard for Bill Cosby as family. Like Mark said, it does take a toll on his family, not only the survivors --
TEWOLDE: -- but his family as well. She must have maybe said this was the judgment, maybe this was the sentencing and how she was going to prepare herself and maybe she couldn't go to court and see her husband be taken away. It's traumatizing for the family. They don't want to see their family member, their loved one, hauled off to prison. It's telling. She's been by his side. She's criticized the judge for being unfair. From all accounts, I have to reason to believe other than she is adamantly on her husband's side.
I'm still in shock. I'm going through Twitter right now trying to keep up and I just am so shocked that, in 2018, Bill Cosby, someone who I've grown up to watch and admire, is going to prison for something like this. It's shocking.
BALDWIN: Let's come back to that point. We're talking through the machinations of sentencing and everything else. I was making the point before I came on TV, I remember watching him as a kid -- oh, there he is.
GERAGOS: Let's just watch.
BALDWIN: Wow. What do you say? You know, this is a man, as Yodit was mentioning, Bill Cosby in handcuffs being led away to jail.
We'll rerack it. Here he is.
A scene millions of Americans never, ever, ever would have imagined. Never would have imagined, as we were just discussing. This is Mr. Huxtable. This is picture pages. This is a man who has done so much philanthropically. Wow, his life has entirely changed.
Let's listen in.
[14:55:10] GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: -- in the hall, OK? You're going to do a quick one here. Yes, you can do a -- (INAUDIBLE) -- if you want to. The whole victim impact will be in hall. Fair enough?
OK, all right, all right.
OK, everybody, wait. All right, we're ready? Everybody, wait.
OK. OK. We're going to make a very brief statement here and then we're going to give victim impact statements in the hall, in Xavier Hall, at 4:10 after the district attorney's press conference.
OK. So this has been a long journey to justice for all of the accusers, particularly for Andrea Constand and for her family. And we respect the fact that they have undergone and endured this journey to justice.
The court has imposed a three-to-five-year term, three years after which he can seek parole. This is a very important day. Judgment Day has come. The court has said that its efforts and its decision were based on the guidelines and the law of Pennsylvania and the protection of the public. There's an undue risk to the public if he was given probation. And given the gravity of the offense and other factors, this was his sentence.
So we're glad the Judgment Day has finally come for Mr. Cosby. Mr. Cosby has shown no remorse. And there has been no justice for many of the accusers who were barred from a court by the arbitrary time limits imposed by the statute of limitations. But many of them were brave enough to speak to law enforcement and some of them were chosen to speak as prior-bad-act witnesses. So we're very proud who cooperated with law enforcement and did what they could do to have a just result.
Quickly, we're going to make a long statement in the all. I don't know if you want to think about the sentence, how you feel about it and then we'll do the victim impact at the hall.
This is Shallon (ph). Shallon (ph) is one of my clients. She testified in the criminal case as a prior-bad-act witness.
Go ahead, Shallon (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As everyone knows, I wanted 30 years, but I'm very happy to know that Mr. Cosby will do time in prison, that he is touchable like he touched us, unwillingly.
ALLRED: OK. Good. Thank you.
Also a prior-bad-act witness will give her longer statement at the hall, which we have a copy of for you.
But how do you feel about the sentence right now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm more emotional than I thought I would be. All I can say is that this is going to help change the statute of limitations in Nevada. We're going to get it abolished and support what's happen hearing in Pennsylvania. And this is just going to show victims that they can make it through and that there's justice at the end and hallelujah.
ALLRED: We'll see you at the hall right after the D.A.'s press conference. Thank you.
Yes. OK. Everyone's invited. We'll have a longer victim --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charles.
ALLRED: I think it sends an important message. That's not what the court was intending to do. But it certainly sends the message you will suffer the consequences if you are convicted in a court of law of drugging --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one ever expects anything like this. But I want to say a few words, if that's OK.
I believe and think it's important to point out that this has been the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States. Dr. Cosby has been one of the greatest civil rights leaders in the United States for over the last 50 years. He has also been one of the greatest educators of men and boys over the last 50 years.