Court Denies Bill Cosby’s Sexual Assault Conviction Appeal

Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse on the first day of sentencing in his sexual assault trial on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Photo: Mark Makela (Getty Images)

Welp, it looks like Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction is ironclad.

Cosby, 82, sought to appeal his 2018 conviction for the 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand. At the appeal hearings, which began in August, Cosby’s lawyers argued that five additional witnesses shouldn’t have been allowed to testify in the 2018 trial, and that the “prior bad acts” referenced in the testimony were too dissimilar to Constand’s sexual assault allegation from 2004.

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However, according to Variety, the Pennsylvania court has decided to reject Cosby’s appeal request.

“Here, the PBA evidence established Appellant’s unique sexual assault playbook,” the court stated. “Indeed, not only did the PBA evidence tend to establish a predictable pattern of criminal sexual behavior unique to Appellant, it simultaneously tended to undermine any claim that Appellant was unaware of or mistaken about Victim’s failure to consent to the sexual contact that formed the basis of the aggravated indecent assault charges.”

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Subsequent requests were also rejected by the appellate panel. From Variety:

Cosby’s attorneys also argued that the trial judge, Steven O’Neill, harbored a bias against Bruce Castor, the former Montgomery County district attorney who refused to prosecute Cosby in 2005, and should have disclosed the issue and recused himself. O’Neill has denied having a bias against Castor.

The appellate panel held that Cosby waived the claim by waiting more than five months to raise it. The defense first learned of the conflict in March 2018, but did not raise it until just before sentencing in September.

Cosby’s side also argued that the district attorney’s office should have been bound by Castor’s pledge not to prosecute the comedian. The appeals court also rejected that argument, saying that no written non-prosecution agreement exists, and that Castor did not have the power to unilaterally immunize Cosby in any case.

“Even assuming Mr. Castor promised not to prosecute Appellant, only a court order can convey such immunity,” the panel ruled.

The panel also rejected Cosby’s argument that the trial court should not have allowed the jury to hear about Cosby’s civil deposition.

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Cosby is currently serving out his 3- to 10-year prison sentence.

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