Pennsylvania Supreme Court to review two issues in Bill Cosby sexual assault case
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that it will review two issues that Bill Cosby’s team is appealing in his sexual assault case.
Cosby, 82, has been imprisoned since 2018 when he was convicted for drugging and sexually assaulting a former Temple University employee at his home in 2004. He was given a three- to 10-year sentence.
But Cosby’s legal team is arguing against the judge’s decision to allow five other accusers to testify in his case and to include a deposition in which he admitted to giving quaaludes to other women before, The Associated Press reported.
The state Supreme Court also agreed to review Cosby’s claim that a former prosecutor had said he wouldn’t be prosecuted for the case, which prompted him to agree to testify in his accuser’s lawsuit.
Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill allowed five other women besides Temple University employee Andrea Constand to testify in Cosby’s criminal trial which ended in his conviction on all three felony sex assault counts.
Cosby’s charges came after dozens of women said he drugged and sexually assaulted them in the past, but Constand was the only woman whose case was still within the statute of limitations.
O’Neill had said he saw “striking similarities” in the women’s stories and decided their testimonies would be allowed in the 2018 trial to show evidence of a “signature crime,” according to the AP.
However, Cosby’s legal team has argued the testimony was dated, unreliable and not related to Constand’s claims.
The comedian was charged in December 2015 with Constand’s sexual assault after his decade-old deposition from Constand’s civil case resurfaced, in which he said he gave drugs to women he wanted to have sex with.
Cosby’s lawyers have said he only answered the deposition questions a decade earlier because the then-district attorney Bruce Castor promised not to bring a criminal case against him.
Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt said they were “extremely thankful” that the Supreme Court ruled to review the issues, in a statement obtained by the AP. He also connected Cosby’s case to the protests over the justice system.
“As we have all stated, the false conviction of Bill Cosby is so much bigger than him — it’s about the destruction of ALL Black people and people of color in America,” he said.
Constand asked the court in a statement to consider the other women who “selflessly put themselves in harm’s way” to testify against Cosby.
“I have no doubt that the Supreme Court of PA will do the right thing and not allow Cosby’s wealth, fame and fortune to win an escape from his maleficent, malignant and downright criminal past and seek justice at all cost,” she said.
— Andrea Constand (@ConstandAndrea) June 23, 2020
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