Actor Bill Cosby will not be paroled this year after he refused to participate in sex offender programs during his nearly three years in Pennsylvania state prison.
83-year-old Cosby has long said he would oppose the treatment programs and refuse to admit wrongdoing, even if it means serving the full 10-year sentence. This is the first year that he has been eligible for parole on the basis of the three to 10 years imprisonment handed down after his 2018 conviction.
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt called the decision “terrible” and said Cosby “vehemently proclaims his innocence.”
Cosby, meanwhile, is hoping that the state’s Supreme Court, which heard his appeal in December, will overturn his conviction in the first celebrity trial in the #MeToo era. Cosby’s lawyers say the trial was flawed because five other prosecutors were allowed to testify to support the sexual assault complaint filed by a former Temple University basketball team manager. They also say the judge should not have let the jury hear Cosby’s damaging testimony from Prosecutor Andrea Constand’s related civil suit.
Cosby is serving his sentence at SCI-Phoenix in Montgomery County. The case stems from a meeting with Constand in 2004 at his estate near Philadelphia. The two had met in Temple, where Cosby was a longtime member of the board of trustees and a frequent visitor to campus celebrities.
The Associated Press does not typically identify victims of sexual assault without their consent, which Constand has granted. In the wake of the May 11 decision, which began circulating Thursday, she posted a tweet that simply said, “REFUSED.”
Cosby broke through racial barriers in Hollywood in the 1960s and had a top sitcom, The Cosby Show, on television from 1984 to 1992.