Comedian Bill Cosby’s petition for parole from his 3-to 10-year prison sentence for sexual assault has been denied because he’s refusing required therapy for violent sexual predators.
“We knew he was going to be rejected,” Cosby’s spokesperson Andrew Wyatt told Reuters. “He called me and told me that if he didn’t take the course, he would be denied. He has maintained his innocence from the beginning.”
Wyatt said Cosby is “still hopeful” about winning his appeals, even though he continues to refuse the mandatory therapy.
Cosby, now 83, was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison in 2018 after he was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004 at his suburban Philadelphia mansion. Constand, a basketball coach at Temple University at the time, considered the far older Cosby, an influential donor at the school, a professional mentor.
Five other women testified against Cosby at his trial, saying he had drugged and assaulted them in similar attacks. Scores of other women have spoken out publicly with similar accusations.
Cosby insisted the sex was consensual, and later called his trial a “set up.”
Cosby, once a towering entertainment industry figure known as “America’s dad” for his role as head of the Huxtable household on “The Cosby Show” sitcom, was to be eligible for release on parole as early as Sept. 25. He was interviewed for consideration early this month. He has been serving his sentence in the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix outside Philadelphia.
In a letter detailing its decision, the parole board cited Cosby’s failure to complete the therapy, failure to develop a parole release plan and a “negative recommendation” from corrections officials.
Laura Treaster, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania parole board, said in a statement that Cosby would not be considered for parole until he completes the sexual violent predator therapy. Officials will interview Cosby again after they’ve “been notified that he has completed his programming,” Treaster told People magazine.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments on Cosby’s appeal of his conviction in December. The court has not yet ruled.
The parole denial was first reported on Facebook by journalist Nicole Weisensee Egan, author of the book “Chasing Cosby.”
Constand tweeted in response: “DENIED!