The Montgomery County District Attorney confirmed the sentence via Twitter, which also includes a fine of $US25,000 ($A34,445).
During sentencing on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Judge Steven O’Neill proclaimed, “It is time for justice”.
The sentence comes after, Cosby, 81, was found guilty of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004 after feeding her three blue pills at his surburban Philadelphia estate. Of the numerous similar allegations against Cosby at the time, Constand’s was the only to make it to trial.
In her five-page victim impact statement submitted during sentencing, Constand explains, “Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it. He robbed me of my health, my open nature, and my trust in myself and others”.
As the first major celebrity trial of the #MeToo movement, the ruling has prompted a swift reaction on social media.
Actor and #TimesUp advocate Amber Tamblyn tweeted about the result. “Bill Cosby has been sentenced to 3-10 years for drugging and sexually assaulting many women over the course of many years,” she writes. “His survivors have been sentenced to a lifetime of brutal memories and trauma for daring to exist in the first place. Super fair I guess.”
Reactions from celebrities and advocates of the #MeToo movement are flowing in thick and fast: