Dean Daniel Filler provided insights about the sentencing of comedian and convicted sex offender Bill Cosby to The New York Times, TIME magazine and other media outlets.
Cosby’s attorneys are arguing that he should not be incarcerated, given his age, and are fighting a designation as a sexually violent predator recommended by the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, based on his conviction for sexual assault in April.
The designation as predator, if approved by the court, could bolster defamation claims made by Cosby accusers who have filed suit, TIME magazine noted in its coverage of the sentencing on Sept. 22.
“That may (also) be about legacy protection, about what the obituary says, what the Wikipedia page says,” Filler said in the TIME article. “You can bet, especially in crowd-sourced things, everything’s going to begin with ‘he’s a sexually violent predator.’ It’s like a slogan. He has a tag now.”
Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill is considering a sentence of 5 to 10 years.
“If you give a sentence in the middle, almost no one can complain,” Filler said in The Washington Post. “And because the case has mitigating factors and aggravating factors, that’s the most likely outcome.”
A New York Times article on Sept. 24 noted that Cosby’s own words to the court at sentencing could be powerful.
“There has not been any sense of contrition or regret, and it would be the news story of the day if he stood up and said, ‘Judge, I am sorry,'” Filler told The New York Times. “But it’s not likely to happen.”
Filler is an authority on sex offender laws whose scholarship has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court.