DiCindio said that while there are maximums in the state that could be imposed, Pennsylvania’s sentencing guidelines are “going to weigh heavily in balance.”
In 1982, the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing created benchmarks to promote “equity and fairness” in sentencing. The sentencing guidelines for aggravated indecent assault call for 22 to 36 months for each count, rather than the 10-year maximum.
Judges have discretion to consider a variety of factors in determining a sentence, including a defendant’s criminal history, the effect of the criminal behavior on public safety and the possibility of mitigating and aggravating factors in the case. Based on those factors, judges decide the length of the sentence on each count, as well as whether those sentences are served consecutively or concurrently.
Defendants are typically assigned a sentencing hearing 60 to 90 days after a conviction. At the sentencing hearing, attorneys for both sides will argue for the aggravating and mitigating circumstances in the case.
“I would think the big battle is whether in fact he gets jail time,” said Jack Meyerson, a former federal prosecutor and Philadelphia-based attorney. “Given the public scrutiny over the case and Cosby’s celebrity,” Meyerson continued, “the judge may feel pressured to send Cosby to prison. Given the circumstances of the case, and public attention, I think he would have to send a message with some jail time.”
Cosby has been accused by dozens of women of misbehavior ranging from sexual harassment to assault, but in nearly all of the cases, the statute of limitations had already passed by the time the allegations surfaced. That was not the case for Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, who testified that Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2004. The three counts Cosby was convicted of on Thursday stem from that encounter.
At Cosby’s sentencing hearing, prosecutors will likely argue for a higher sentence based on Cosby’s use of intoxicants in Constand’s assault, as well as the number of alleged incidents involving other women. On the other hand, Cosby’s defense attorneys may argue that, based on his age and poor health, as well as the significant charitable contributions he has made and his lack of a previous criminal record, he should not have to serve jail time.
As in the Larry Nassar case, in which more than 150 women testified at a sentencing hearing for the former Michigan State doctor accused of molesting young gymnasts, the judge could allow Cosby’s dozens of accusers to testify in open court.
Cosby’s attorneys said they would appeal the conviction. Meyerson said it’s possible the attorneys would ask the judge to allow Cosby to remain on bail, rather than imprisoned, pending that appeal. If the judge denies that request, his attorneys could appeal that decision to a higher court.
Joe Biden takes oath of office to become America’s 46th president | US News
Joe Biden has become the 46th president of the United States, after taking his oath of office in a heavily scaled back inauguration ceremony in Washington DC.
He swore to preserve, protect and defend America to the sound of cheers and applause from former presidents both Democrat and Republican – though Donald Trump decided to break precedent by skipping the event.
It came minutes after new Vice President Kamala Harris took her oath, too.
Mr Biden stressed the fairness of last November’s election result in the opening of his inaugural address by declaring: “This is democracy’s day. The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.
“We’ve learned again that democracy is precious, democracy is fragile and at this hour my friends, democracy has prevailed.”
Mr Biden promised to “press forward with speed and urgency” during a “winter of peril” to tackle the “once-in-a-century virus that silently stalks the country”, also vowing to confront white supremacy and terrorism.
He stressed his prevailing focus after a divisive election campaign will be on “uniting our nation”, adding: “With unity, we can do great things, important things – we can right wrongs.”
And he said he wanted to “make America once again a leading force for good in the world”, seemingly in a snub to Mr Trump commenting: “Let’s start afresh… all of us.”
Mr Biden urged people to “join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature”, for, he explained, without unity there will be “no nation, only a state of chaos”.
Speaking as he looked out on to the National Mall lit by a bright sunshine, Mr Biden continued: “Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path.
“Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war and we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.”
Repeating a motif from his victory speeches in the days after winning the Electoral College vote, Mr Biden promised to be “a president for all Americans”.
Winding up his address, he struck an optimistic tone, saying: “Together we shall write an American story of hope not fear, of unity not division, of light not darkness.”
He ended with: “May God bless America and may God protect our troops, thank you America.”
Lady Gaga, wearing a large dove broach on her top and clasping a golden microphone, had just performed a rousing rendition of the national anthem – and Jennifer Lopez followed with an “American musical selection”.
Former presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton attended the event at the Capitol – and Mr Biden was greeted by cheers and applause as he walked up to the stage.
Mr Biden shared a fist-bump with Barack Obama before the pair took their seats, and then a series of speeches got underway – all sharing a theme of unity.
But as the new president prepared to take the oath of office, Donald Trump was landing in Florida.
Mr Trump is the first outgoing president since 1869 to skip an inauguration ceremony, but departing Vice President Mike Pence was in the audience.
As the inauguration ceremony took place in a chilly Washington DC, where it was trying to snow, the White House was getting a deep clean that was set to cost $500,000 (£366,000).
Shortly before the ceremony began, Mr Biden declared on Twitter: “It’s a new day in America.”
Mr Trump gave a parting message before boarding Air Force One, telling a small group of supporters and family members gathered on the tarmac of Joint Base Andrews that “we will be back in some form”.
“I wish the new administration great luck and great success,” he added, before boarding the plane, which took off to the booming soundtrack of Frank Sinatra’s My Way.
Mr Biden is only the second Catholic to hold the office of president.
His team have already announced he will sign a series of executive orders reversing several of Mr Trump’s policies, including on COVID-19, climate change and racial inequality.
Australian Open: Novak Djokovic says he is not ‘selfish, difficult and ungrateful’ for quarantine requests | World News
Tennis star Novak Djokovic has insisted he was not being “selfish, difficult and ungrateful” after making a list of requests for players in quarantine ahead of the Australian Open.
The men’s world number one reportedly sent a letter to Australian officials asking for a reduction in the time players spend in isolation, permission to see coaches and for athletes to be moved to private houses.
His suggestions were firmly rebuffed by Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews, who said: “People are free to provide lists of demands, but the answer is no… There’s no special treatment here.”
A total of 72 players are in quarantine after 10 people who flew to Melbourne for the first Grand Slam of the year tested positive for coronavirus – leaving many forced to train in their hotel rooms.
Djokovic has since defended speaking out about the quarantine conditions, writing in a lengthy social media post: “My good intentions for my fellow competitors in Melbourne have been misconstrued as being selfish, difficult and ungrateful.
“This couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
He said his email exchange regarding suggestions for the quarantine conditions was an “opportunity to brainstorm” and he was “aware that the chances were low that any of our suggestions would be accepted”.
“There were a few suggestions and ideas that I gathered from other players from our chat group and there was no harm intended to try and help,” he said.
While many players are under the strictest quarantine conditions and unable to leave their rooms, others who were not on the affected flights – including Djokovic – are able to train outside for five hours a day under COVID-secure protocols.
The star player said he wanted to use his “position of privilege” to help others.
“I’ve earned my privileges the hard way and for that reason it is very difficult for me to be a mere onlooker knowing how much every help, gesture and good word mattered to me when I was small and insignificant in the world pecking order,” he said.
He added: “Things in the media escalated and there was a general impression that the players (including myself) are ungrateful, weak and selfish because of their unpleasant feelings in quarantine.
“I am very sorry that it has come that because I do know how grateful many are.”
Going ahead with the tournament amid the global pandemic and harsh restrictions in Melbourne has caused some controversy, particularly as many Australians remain stuck overseas.
Three new coronavirus cases related to the tournament were reported on Wednesday, including a player who has been in hard lockdown since they arrived.
The second case related to another player and the third is a support person with the player.
Madrid: ‘Extremely loud’ explosion in city centre – reports of injuries | World News
An “extremely loud” explosion has been reported in Madrid’s city centre – with rescue teams, firefighters and police sent to the scene.
Spanish media reports said the explosion took place in a building near a nursing home – and videos and images shared on social media showed rubble scattered in the street.
“We didn’t know where the sound came from. We all thought it was from the school. We went up the stairs to the top of our building and we could see the structure of the building and lots of grey smoke,” a witness told the AP news agency.
The explosion happened in Toledo street. Video on social media showed a number of wrecked cars and debris strewn in the road.
According to TVE, several people have been hurt, while Telemadrid is reporting that at least one person is trapped.
Emergency services could not immediately confirm if there had been injuries.
A police spokeswoman said the area was being evacuated but could not confirm the cause of the explosion.
Government sources have been quoted by Spanish media as saying it may have been a gas leak.
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