Stevie Wonder said he hopes that God will have “mercy” on Bill Cosby following news that the comedian had been sentenced to spend 3-to-10 years in state prison for sexual assault.
“You know what, I just pray for everybody. Even more, I pray for this nation and its leader,” the 68-year-old singer shared, according to TMZ on Wednesday when asked about the 81-year-old’s sentence. (RELATED: Bill Cosby Time Behind Bars Dramatically Cut After Deal Made Following Guilty Verdict)
“You know, I think that — I respect the work that he [Cosby] has done in his career as an artist,” he added. “And he’s inspired a lot of people. And I just pray that God will give him the mercy.”
Wonder continued, “And every woman should be protected.”
The comments come after Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill ruled on Tuesday that the disgraced comedian would be sent away for no less than three years and no more than 10 years for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in Philadelphia in 2004.
After the sentencing hearing, the “Cosby Show” star was lead out of the courtroom in handcuffs and taken straight to a state prison in Pennsylvania.
The actor was facing a maximum of 30 years behind bars for the three charges of aggravated indecent assault against Constand. Prosecutors and defense attorneys, however, agreed at a hearing on Monday to combine the charges into one that would have gave him the maximum of 3-to-10 years in prison.