Bill Cosby may have a chance of being released from prison. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has accepted the 82-year-old’s appeal of his 2018 aggravated indecent assault conviction, USA Today reported.
In December 2019, Cosby appealed the case to the Pennsylvania Superior Court and lost, according to NPR.
In his latest appeal, which was almost 300 pages long, lawyer Brian W. Perry raised concerns about the conduct during his trial, including that having other women testify “flips constitutional jurisprudence on its head.” The Supreme Court has agreed to review whether it was appropriate to have five other accusers testify about past sexual assault allegations against Cosby. The judge will also review if it was acceptable for a civil deposition in which The Cosby Show star admitted that he gave women quaaludes in the past to be submitted as evidence. Cosby was promised that he wouldn’t be prosecuted based on anything he said during the deposition, which led to self-incriminating statements.
“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,” spokesperson Andrew Wyatt told USA Today. “We’re extremely thankful to our attorneys for their tenacious efforts in fighting for the vindication of Mr. Cosby.”
Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison after being convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand in his Pennsylvania home in 2004, NPR reported. With this appeal, his conviction could be overturned. Wyatt said Cosby is “extremely thankful” for his chance to fight his case again.
The opposing side told USA Today that they are confident Cosby will not be a free man.
“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has narrowed the issues on appeal, limiting them to prior bad acts and the sovereign edict,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said. “We look forward to briefing and arguing these issues and remain confident in the Trial Court and Superior Court’s previous decisions.”
Constand Has Addressed Cosby’s Appeal
Constand, the woman Cosby was convicted of sexually assaulting, has released a statement addressing the news of his appeal. She pleaded that he not be released and said she is confident the Supreme Court will not allow his “wealth, fame and fortune to win an escape from his maleficent, malignant and downright criminal past.
“I respectfully ask the Supreme Court of PA to consider the enormous prospect of putting my perpetrator back into the community after being labelled a convicted sexually violent predator who has shown no remorse for his actions,” she said. “While everyone deserves for their cries and appeals to be heard, even convicted criminals, if anyone’s cries matter most right now, it’s the women who have lifted their voices and selflessly put themselves in harm’s way, such as the prior bad act witnesses in my case. They are the true heroes.”
— Andrea Constand (@ConstandAndrea) June 23, 2020
Cosby’s First Trial Ended in a Mistrial
Cosby’s first trial ended in a mistrial in 2017 after the 12 jurors could not come to a unanimous decision about any of the charges against him. An anonymous juror told ABC News that they deliberated for 52 hours and only 10 of the jurors felt he was guilty on two of the three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault against him. The juror shared that things got tense during deliberation.
“They were just literally walking in circles where they were standing because they were losing their minds,” the juror said. “People would just start crying out of nowhere, we wouldn’t even be talking about [the case] – and people would just start crying.”
Cosby was charged with penetrating Constand without her consent, sexually assaulting Constand while she was unconscious and giving her drugs or intoxicants without her knowledge, ABC reported.