The sympathy I have for Bill Cosby would fit into a thimble, and I'd still have room left over for three peas and an orange M&M.
Back in April, he was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand 14 years ago, while she was a Temple University employee and he was on the board of trustees. The decades-long megastar from North Philly is expected to be sentenced Tuesday.
He was the first famous man found guilty after the awakening of the #MeToo movement, but I guarantee you he won't be the last.
At least six other women who have accused Cosby of similar sexual attacks were in the courtroom Monday for the first phase of the sentencing hearing, feeling vindicated.
Prosecutors on Monday asked the judge for 10 years on the three counts to be laid on Cosby, 81.
At least two of his accusers want him to get jail time, as do I.
"I think he needs to pay for what he's done to everyone," said Chelan Lasha, who testified at Cosby's criminal trial.
That's where this goes wrong.
Once the dam burst, dozens of women came forward to accuse the man once known as America's Dad. I have no reason to disbelieve them. But Cosby wasn't convicted of assaulting any of them, and Judge Steven T. O'Neill really should not have them on his mind.
Attorney Gloria Allred, Philly native, said, "Mr. Cosby should not be treated differently because he is a celebrity," meaning he should not be allowed to skate.
The flip side is also true. He should not be treated any more harshly because he is a celebrity. Equal justice under the law.
These days, we believe jail is supposed to rehabilitate in addition to punish.
How many years would it take to rehabilitate Cosby? Undoubtedly he will be listed as a violent sex offender, the chance of his selling Jell-O products or starring in another TV series is nil, and his concerts won't draw flies.
Is this "punishment" enough?
No. Cos deserves time in the old Graybar Hotel. In the interest of justice, he must sit in a 6-by-8 cell for some period of time, and I mean years, not months. He can work up new routines in the exercise yard featuring the zany new characters he will meet in the stir. (Probably not that zany, because I expect Cosby to be placed in a low-security lockup with white-collar criminals. He's not much of an escape risk when he's half-blind and on a cane.)
The sentence must punish him only for what he actually was convicted of. I understand the temptation to throw the book at him for what we believe he did, but that's not right, that's not how the system is supposed to work.
What can I say to the dozens of other victims?
Imagine that the sentence, whatever it is, was pronounced as punishment for the crime he committed against you.