×

Bill Cosby’s Attorneys Fear He Will Contract Coronavirus in Prison

Bill Cosby is escorted out of
Jacqueline Larma/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Bill Cosby’s attorneys fear that he will contract the coronavirus in prison, and are contemplating asking for him to serve the remainder of his sentence at home.

Cosby, 82, is serving a three- to 10-year sentence at State Correctional Institution Phoenix, near Philadelphia, after being convicted in 2018 of sexually assaulting a woman at his home.

Cosby is blind, and his spokesman fears that he will contract the virus from one of the inmates or a staff member who is charged with taking care of him.

“Prisons and jails around the country are becoming infested with coronavirus cases — and it’s only a matter of time before Mr. Cosby’s prison likely falls victim to the virus,” said the spokesman, Andrew Wyatt.

Wyatt said Cosby feels fine — apart from occasional blood-pressure spikes — and has not been tested for the virus. He said Cosby’s attorneys are “considering filing a motion” to allow Cosby to serve the balance of his sentence at home.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections said on Wednesday that no inmates within its system had tested positive for the virus.

“DOC staff are working around the clock to review and consider all possible mitigation efforts for all our inmates and parolees at this time,” said a spokeswoman. “As you may know, there is a legal process for release of inmates, be it parole board action, pardons, commutations or judicial… and the DOC doesn’t have that discretion.”

Like other prison systems, the department has suspended visitation and taken steps to screen incoming inmates for the disease. Should an inmate test positive, the department has said it has plans in place to quarantine that inmate.

Some inmates have been put to work manufacturing masks, and the prison system says masks have been distributed to inmates and staff.

On Tuesday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 300 non-violent and elderly prisoners would be released from Rikers Island in a bid to slow the spread of the disease there.