In a move that spared Bill Cosby from further legal repercussions, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by prosecutors to overrule a Pennsylvania judge’s order that reversed Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction.
Key Points According to Pennsylvania Supreme Court
According to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Cosby should not have been prosecuted because a former district attorney explicitly agreed not to do so in 2005 and turned down a prosecution appeal. Convicted sexual assault victims and their advocates were outraged by the decision to release Cosby from state prison.
Constand, a former Temple University employee, was drugged and molested by Cosby at his home in 2004. He was indicted for three to ten years in prison after his conviction on three counts of severe gross indecency.
In light of the #MeToo movement, he was the first high-profile celebrity to be convicted of sexual abuse.
In the classic 1980s television comedy “The Cosby Show“, Cosby played the adoring husband and father figure. He was also a well-known stand-up comedian.
More than 50 women have come forward to accuse him of sexual assaults spanning nearly five decades, shattering his once-steadfast reputation as a family man. All of Constand’s allegations were within the statute of limitations for criminal charges against Cosby.
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After the Constand case went to trial in 2015, Cosby’s lawyers argued that Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele should not have charged him because Bruce Castor, who previously held the position, had issued a press release announcing his decision to not prosecute.
On Monday, Steele said that appealing to the Supreme Court in a bid to reimpose the conviction was the right thing to do, and he thanked Constand for her support.
Steele made the statement and said, “All crime victims deserve to be heard, treated with respect, and be supported through their day in court. I wish her the best as she moves forward in her life.”
Jennifer Bonjean, Cosby’s attorney said, “Although we are relieved to have this saga behind us, it is not the least bit surprising” that the Supreme Court denied the district attorney’s appeal, calling it “patently frivolous.”
After Cosby admitted to sedating women, that testimony was used as evidence against him in the criminal case brought against him by Steele.
Cosby had relied on Castor’s guarantee to his detriment, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in June 2021, ruling that the prosecution was fundamentally unfair because it had violated Cosby’s constitutional right to due process.
“Dangerous precedent” by the state court has “paved the road for thousands of other defendants to raise this issue and to seek similar windfalls,” Steele argued in his appeal to the Supreme Court.
Jurors couldn’t come to a majority verdict on Cosby’s guilt in the first trial, which occurred in 2017. After the judge allowed prosecutors to call five prior accusers as witnesses in a second trial – four more than in the first trial – he was convicted.
Consistent with his pattern of sexually assaulting younger women, the prosecution claimed that Cosby’s assault of Constand was premeditated, carried out with the assistance of drugs or alcohol, stated the prosecutors.
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