Sunday, September 19, 2021

Bill Cosby: Pa. Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Sex Assault Conviction

bill cosby

*The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has accepted Bill Cosby’s appeal of his 2018 sex assault conviction. 

Cosby’s spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, said the disgraced TV star is “extremely thankful.”

The decision could pave the way for the conviction to be possibly overturned in the future. 

Cosby, 82, is currently serving a three-to-10 year sentence in a state prison for allegedelly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand.

Back in April 2018, he was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault.

During the trial, prosecutors used Cosby’s past admissions about drugs and sex as well as the testimony of five other women to help support Constand’s allegations against him.

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Andrea Constand, main accuser in the Bill Cosby trial, leaves courtroom on April 25, 2018, in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Constand and her mother, Gianna, both testified during the retrial. According to Deadline, Janice Dickinson, Heidi Thomas, Janice Baker-Kinney, Lise-Lotte Lublin and Chelan Lasha also provided testimony that they were drugged by Cosby with wine or pills, matching Constand’s story. 

A jury of seven men and five women returned a guilty verdict for Cosby’s alleged assault on Constand in January 2004.

“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,” Wyatt said in a statement to USA TODAY. “We’re extremely thankful to our attorneys for their tenacious efforts in fighting for the vindication of Mr. Cosby.”

Here’s more about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision via USA Today:

In its one-page order, the Supreme Court said it will review the appellate panel’s decision on Cosby’s case based first on whether the trial judge’s decision to allow other accusers to testify about alleged, uncharged “prior bad acts” by Cosby was prejudicial as opposed to probative, a standard used to allow or disallow testimony. 

The other issue the court will review is whether the trial judge improperly allowed testimony about a civil deposition Cosby gave after he said he was promised by an earlier district attorney that he would not be prosecuted. By relying on that promise, was Cosby induced to make self-incriminating statements later used against him, and does that violate his constitutional rights against self-incrimination?

Under the usual timeline, the high court would next set a briefing schedule and eventually a date for oral arguments before the court. 

Although dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, only Constand’s allegations resulted in criminal charges.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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