In a surprising choice that might check the authorized framework of #MeToo circumstances, comic Invoice Cosby has gained the proper to struggle his 2018 sexual assault conviction within the Pennsylvania Supreme Courtroom.

The 82-year-old Cosby has been imprisoned in suburban Philadelphia for almost two years after a jury convicted him of drugging and sexually assaulting a girl at his house in 2004. He’s serving a three- to 10-year sentence.

The Supreme Courtroom has agreed to evaluation two facets of the case, together with the choose’s choice to let prosecutors name 5 different accusers to testify about long-ago encounters with the once-powerful actor and comic. Cosby’s attorneys have lengthy challenged that testimony as distant and unreliable. The courtroom can even contemplate, because it weighs the scope of the testimony allowed, whether or not the jury ought to have heard proof that Cosby had given quaaludes to girls up to now.

Secondly, the courtroom will look at Cosby’s argument that he had an settlement with a former prosecutor that he would by no means be charged within the case. Cosby has mentioned he relied on that settlement earlier than agreeing to testify within the trial accuser’s civil lawsuit.

These points have been on the coronary heart of the case since Cosby was charged in December 2015, days earlier than the 12-year statute of limitations expired.

Prosecutors in Montgomery County had reopened the case that 12 months after The Related Press fought to unseal parts of Cosby’s decade-old deposition testimony in accuser Andrea Constand’s intercourse assault and defamation lawsuit in opposition to Cosby, which he had settled in 2006.

Andrea Constand is seen with prosecutor Kristen Gibbons Feden, proper, after the jury convicted Invoice Cosby for sexual assault. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Convicted upon retrial

Dozens of different accusers had come ahead since then to accuse Cosby, lengthy beloved as “America’s Dad” due to his hit 1980s sitcom, of comparable misconduct. Montgomery County Choose Stephen O’Neill allowed simply considered one of them to testify at Cosby’s first trial in 2017, which ended with an acquittal.

However a 12 months later, after the #MeToo motion exploded within the wake of reporting on Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, the choose allowed 5 different accusers to testify on the retrial. The jury convicted Cosby on all three felony sex-assault counts.

Lawyer Brian W. Perry argued within the attraction that letting different accusers testify “flips constitutional jurisprudence on its head, and the ‘presumption of guilt,’ quite than the presumption of innocence, turns into the premise.”

Spokesperson Andrew Wyatt mentioned Cosby was “extraordinarily grateful” the courtroom would hear the case. He mentioned the choice comes as demonstrators throughout the nation protest the loss of life of Black individuals by the hands of police and expose the “corruption that lies throughout the prison justice system.”

“As we now have all acknowledged, the false conviction of Invoice Cosby is a lot greater than him — it is in regards to the destruction of ALL Black individuals and other people of color in America,” Wyatt mentioned in a press release.

Cosby’s attorneys additionally challenged his classification as a sexually violent predator topic to lifetime supervision. The actor, who insists he had a consensual encounter with accuser Constand, has mentioned he would by no means categorical regret to the parole board.

The Related Press sometimes doesn’t identify individuals who say they’ve been victims of sexual assault with out their permission, which Constand has granted.


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