Bill Cosby, 81, has also been categorized as a sexually violent predator, meaning he must undergo counseling for life and be listed on the sex offender registry.

The actor declined to make a statement when a judge gave him the opportunity.

At a retrial in April, Cosby was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004.

Judge Steven O’Neill has also denied Cosby’s request for bail pending appeal.

After delivering the sentence, Judge O’Neill said: “Mr Cosby you took her beautiful healthy young spirit and crushed it.”

He told Ms Constand he “heard the very clear impact” the assault had on her life.

Ahead of the sentence, the judge designated Cosby a sexually violent predator, despite the defence’s argument that Cosby’s age and blindness mean he is not a threat.

Tuesday’s classification means he will need to register with state police and notify any community he lives in of his sex offender status, as well as undergo mandatory counseling for life.