Lawyers for disgraced comedian and television personality Bill Cosby are pushing against attempts to label their client a “sexually violent predator,” arguing that doing so would damage his reputation and hurt his relationships with family members.
A motion filed by Cosby’s defense team in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, said that the designation would violate a state constitutional provision protecting the reputations of individuals.
That provision states the following:
"All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness."
Cosby is set to be sentenced on Sept. 24 after being convicted of drugging and raping Andrea Constand. He faces the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, but if he’s granted a shorter sentence, he could face additional prohibitions upon his exit from a correctional facility.
A criminal assessment board determined that Cosby fit the label of a sexually violent predator in late July. If left unchallenged, Cosby would be required to register for life with Pennsylvania police, and to notify neighbors anytime he moved. He’d also be required to attend counseling sessions for the remainder of his life.
The designation is a legal one under Pennsylvania state law, which defines a person as having a mental abnormality or personality disorder that deems them likely to engage in similar offenses in the future.
Regardless of whether Cosby gains the legal moniker or not, his once-stellar reputation is forever tainted by the actions he performed against so many women over the years. It’s not a courtroom’s fault, nor a jury of his peers whom he can blame, that his reputation is ruined. It was destroyed entirely by his own heinous choices many years ago.
Banner/thumbnail image credit: Brendan McDermid/Reuters