Bill Cosby’s Sexual Assault Case to Be Reviewed

The disgraced comedian has been granted an appeal

bill cosby
Bill Cosby walks after it was announced a verdict is in at the Montgomery County Courthouse for day fourteen of his sexual assault retrial on April 26, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)
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By Bonnie Stiernberg / June 24, 2020 10:54 am

Nearly two years into his three- to 10-year prison sentence for drugging and sexually assaulting Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004, Bill Cosby has been granted an appeal. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will revisit Cosby’s 2018 conviction, it announced on Tuesday.

The review of the case will be limited to two key issues: whether the testimony of five other women who accused Cosby of sexual assault should have been allowed when Cosby was only standing trial for the attack on Constand, and whether Cosby’s testimony about his use of Quaaludes should have been heard, “as it stemmed from a separate civil case where Cosby’s lawyers have argued their client was promised criminal immunity.”

Constand issued a statement on Twitter urging the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to not allow Cosby to “win an escape.” “While everyone deserves 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 have selflessly put themselves in harm’s way, such as prior bad act witnesses in my case,” the statement read in part. “They are the true heroes.”

Cosby’s team also released a statement, saying, “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. We’re extremely thankful to our attorneys (Brain Perry, Jennifer Bonjean & Barbara Zemlock) for their tenacious efforts in fighting for the vindication of Mr. Cosby.”

For now, Cosby, 82, remains in prison, and he has not been granted release due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to USA Today, “His legal team is considering whether to seek his release, on grounds of age and blindness, pending the high court’s review of his appeal.”

Though he was convicted for his assault of Constand, nearly 60 women have brought accusations against Cosby in recent years. He settled civil suits with at least seven of those women for defamation in 2019.

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