Bill Cosby entered the general population last month at the Pennsylvania prison where he’s serving at least three years and is being “treated just the same as any other inmate,” a state corrections spokeswoman said.
Cosby, 81, was moved January 28 and is now in a single cell without a cell mate, which is typical for the facility, said Amy Worden, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
Cosby’s unit houses inmates of varying ages and it is not a geriatric unit. Worden would not say specifically where in the prison he is being held.
Cosby previously was held in a single cell in a unit adjacent to the infirmary. While there, he could not move as freely around the prison as other inmates.
The comedian once known as “America’s Dad” was found guilty last year of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004 at his home near Philadelphia. Cosby was sentenced in September to 3 to 10 years behind bars. At the State Correctional Institute at Phoenix, he is listed as Inmate No. NN7687.
Cosby’s spokesman said he spent time with Cosby last week and claimed that the comedian is not in general population.
“He made it clear that he’s not in general population but has contact with a trustee that guides him around,” Andrew Wyatt said Thursday.
“He does not eat in the area with other residents, he does not have a cell-mate, and he does not exercise with other residents,” Wyatt said. “Thus meaning that Mr. Cosby is not in general population because that would be detrimental to his safety and security, due to his blindness.”
In response, Worden said Wyatt misunderstood what general population means, and she confirmed Cosby is in a unit within the prison’s general population.
SOURCE: Evan Simko-Bednarski and Eric Levenson, CNN
Spokesman: Cosby’s wife, children haven’t seen him in prison
Bill Cosby has been moved to the general population but hasn’t had any visits from family four months after arriving at a Pennsylvania state prison.
The 81-year-old Cosby, who is legally blind, has been moved out of special housing where he spent time getting acclimated, a prison spokeswoman said. He still has inmates assigned to help him throughout the day, given his age and disability.
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said he doesn’t expect Camille Cosby or their daughters to visit the prison, which is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from a family estate in the Philadelphia suburbs. Cosby is serving a three- to 10-year term for drugging and molesting a woman there in 2004.
“He doesn’t want to have them in that environment,” said Wyatt, who visits regularly. “Why put them in that position, to make it turn into some form of a circus?”
Camille Cosby made just one brief appearance at each of her husband’s two criminal trials, and their three surviving daughters stayed away. Cosby’s wife of more than 50 years did, however, file an ethics complaint against the trial judge last year, accusing him of bias in the case.
She continues to strategize on her husband’s behalf behind the scenes, Wyatt told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Cosby, after being moved last week, now has a single cell in a two-story unit at the newly built SCI-Phoenix in Montgomery County. Wyatt said he’s in a unit reserved for veterans, something the prison would not confirm. He had earlier been in a private cell and day room near the infirmary.
Cosby believes he is a “political prisoner,” targeted for his social and political views much like heroes Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, Wyatt said.
“He said, ‘They want to entrap me to say I’m remorseful, or to say I did something I didn’t do.’ I’m not going to fall for it,” Wyatt said.
Inmates at Phoenix are awakened at 6 a.m. and back in their cells by 8:45 p.m.
They can spend several hours a day in the gym or exercise yard, and other time in the library, classroom, day room or visiting area, state prison spokeswoman Amy Worden said. Wyatt said that Cosby gets up before dawn to do leg lifts and crunches in his cell, and has been working on new creative projects.
“He hasn’t stopped thinking about the things that he’s going to do when he gets out,” Wyatt said.
A jury at a retrial last year convicted Cosby of three counts of felony sex assault. He is appealing the conviction.
Dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual assault or misconduct over a 50-year span, including five who testified at the retrial. Cosby and his lawyers and agents have repeatedly called the encounters consensual.
Cosby, a Philadelphia native, rose to fame in the 1960s as the first black actor to star in a primetime television drama with the hit show, “I Spy.” He became known as “America’s Dad” for his portrayal of family man Cliff Huxtable on the top-ranked “Cosby Show” from 1984 to 1992, a show that helped his fortune reach an estimated $400 million.
SOURCE: MARYCLAIRE DALE, AP