US judge sets Cosby sentencing for September 24-25

New York (AFP) –


A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday ordered the sentencing of disgraced US television icon Bill Cosby to take place on September 24-25 following his conviction as a sex offender.

The frail, 80-year-old -- once beloved as "America's Dad" -- faces a sentence of up to 30 years for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.

Judge Steven O'Neill said the sentence hearing would take place across two days starting at 9:30 am (1330 GMT) in Norristown, Pennsylvania where a unanimous jury returned a guilty verdict on April 26.

The 12-member sequestered panel found the comedian guilty on three counts of sexual assault on April 26 for drugging and molesting the former basketball player and Temple University employee 14 years ago.

Cosby, who is confined to his Philadelphia area mansion on a $1 million bail, has already been ordered to be fitted with a GPS monitor and to undergo a violent sexual predators' assessment.

Prosecutors initially demanded his bail be revoked, arguing he was a flight risk -- but an irritated O'Neill refused to "simply lock him up right now."

His conviction ends the career of a once towering figure in late 20th century American popular culture, the first black actor to grace primetime US television, hitting the big time after growing up as the son of a maid.

Cosby's lawyers have vowed to appeal.