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Before his shameful fall from grace, Bill Cosby redefined the role of Black fathers on television.

Cosby's portrayal of Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable on The Cosby Showwas groundbreaking. Cliff's occupation as a doctor was a refreshing departure from blue-collared blowhards like Fred Sanford and entrepreneurs with a Napoleon complex like George Jefferson.

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Bill Cosby Wants to Talk About Race: He Says His Jury Is a "Set Up"

The convicted sexual assaulter isn't backing down.

Bill Cosby Finally Speaks Behind Bars: "It's All A Setup" - CH News

In 2018, Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand—just one of five women who accused Cosby of sexual misconduct.

Cosby's lawyers have called these women "party girls," "pathological liars," and "robbers," claiming they're only in this case for potential financial gain. Though there have been years of rumors and allegedly dozens of victims, the famed 82-year-old comedian is still arguing that he's the victim in this situation and that the entirety of the case has been a sham. Recently, Cosby gave his first interview since beginning to serve his 3-to-10-year sentence in a maximum security penitentiary in Pennsylvania.

"It's all a set up. That whole jury thing. They were imposters," Cosby told Black Press USA.

Cosby received no special treatment during his interview. His spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, was also on the line, and Cosby's calls were limited to 15 minutes in accordance with the penitentiary's restrictions.

"It's all political," he argued. During his time in prison, Cosby has often spoken at meetings for Mann Up, an inmate reform program for African American men. In the interview, Cosby positioned his incarceration as an issue of racism and the disproportionate imprisonment of black people compared to white people. Though that gap is shrinking, the unfairness of the justice system against people of color is still a massive issue—however, for Cosby to blame his incarceration on race alone and continuously claim he's never committed sexual assault is entirely misguided and, frankly, disgusting.

We absolutely need criminal justice reform, especially as it pertains to race. But if Cosby wants to talk statistics, let's discuss how less than 5 percent of perpetrators in sexual assault cases get incarcerated. Let's discuss how about three out of four sexual assaults go unreported. And if Cosby wants to talk race in sexual assault cases, let's talk about how 22 percent of black women have been raped. Let's talk about the increased risk of domestic violence among black folks in the LGBTQIA+ community. Let's talk about sexual assault survivors like Cyntoia Brown, who at 16, shot and killed a man who picked her up for sex; she was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison. And let's talk about the exclusion of black women's experiences in studies of sexual assault on college campuses, and how these survivors are too often discouraged to come forward, especially if their rapist was a black man—largely in part to men like Cosby, who position it as a race issue in all the wrong ways.

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Judge Determines Cosby is “Sexually Violent Predator,” Sentenced to 3-10 Years in State Prison

The once-beloved comedian will most likely spend the remainder of his life behind bars.

US entertainer Bill Cosby (R) arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA, 24 September 2018 for sentencing

Photo by TRACIE VAN AUKEN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Earlier today, Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to ten years in state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand.

Presiding Judge Steven O'Neil officially labeled Cosby, 81, a "sexually violent predator," forcing him to undergo counseling for life and requiring he appear on the sex offenders' registry where he lives. The actor and comedian, once hailed as "America's Dad," now faces a maximum of ten years in prison after prosecutors and attorneys agreed to merge three of the sexual assault allegations against him into one sentence. Prosecutors asked for prison time between five and ten years, while Cosby's defense asked for a sentencing of house arrest, indicating his advanced age and legal blindness.

In Constand's victim impact statement, she spoke about the lifetime effect of the assault, saying, "When the sexual assault happened, I was a young woman brimming with confidence and looking forward to a future bright with possibilities. Now, almost 15 years later, I'm a middle-aged woman who's been stuck in a holding pattern for most of her adult life, unable to heal fully or to move forward."

O'Neil said to Cosby, "This was a serious crime. Mr Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come." He also added, "No one is above the law, and no one should be treated differently or disproportionally." He called Constand's statement "powerful."

Kathy McKee, a former actress who also accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, said that she is happy with O'Neil's sentencing, and that she is proud of Constand for "standing strong."

Cosby's defense stated that they would appeal the conviction.

Joshua Smalley is a New York-based writer, editor, and playwright. Find Josh at his website and on Twitter: @smalleywrites.

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Whether you're a fan of R. Kelly or find his attitude and (alleged) actions alarming, you may just be intrigued by his latest release – a long song dedicated to digging into "years of unflattering headlines about his private life," as described by CNN.

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Kanye Is Once Again Making a Fool of Himself on Twitter

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Guilty! Disgraced Actor Bill Cosby Found Guilty on All Charges

"America's Dad" can serve up to 30 years in jail.

A verdict was reached today in the long-running Bill Cosby sexual assault scandal.

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