Court Denies Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Conviction Appeal - Rolling Stone
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Bill Cosby’s Sexual Assault Conviction Appeal Rejected

Three-judge panel upheld 2018 guilty verdict, rebuffed argument against testimony from other women

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A three-judge panel has denied Bill Cosby's appeal of his 2018 sexual assault conviction.

David Maialetti/AP/Shutterstock

A Pennsylvania court rejected Bill Cosby’s appeal of his 2018 conviction for sexual assault, The New York Times reports. Cosby is serving a three-to-10 year sentence at a maximum-security prison outside of Philadelphia after he was found guilty on three counts of indecent aggravated assault against Andrea Constand, which occurred in 2004.

The three-judge panel on the Pennsylvania Superior Court voted unanimously against Cosby, whose lawyers filed their appeal in June, arguing Cosby had been denied a fair trial and improperly convicted. Specifically, Cosby’s attorneys argued against a decision to allow the testimony of five other women, who claimed Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted them, to be entered as evidence. Testimony about prior alleged crimes is allowed in Pennsylvania courts, though its inclusion is rare. As such, Cosby’s lawyers argued that the testimony of the women didn’t meet the threshold of establishing a pattern of abuse.

The judges, however, rejected that argument, saying the testimony showed how Cosby would serve as a mentor to women, gain their trust and then use drugs to sexually assault them. The court even referred to this pattern of behavior as Cosby’s “unique sexual assault playbook.”

In a statement, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele praised the appeal decision, saying, “It is my hope that with this last guaranteed step in the criminal justice process now complete, the victim in this case, Andrea Constand, can finally put this assault behind her and move on with her life as the strong survivor she is. Her bravery in coming forward when she did to report a sexual assault by a powerful, famous man led to the subsequent exposure of him as a serial predator and served as an example to other women, giving them the needed courage to step up and stand up against sexual assault.”

Cosby can still appeal this rejection to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, though it’s not guaranteed that the higher court will hear the case.

In This Article: Bill Cosby, sexual assault


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