Bill Cosby granted appeal in sexual assault case by Pennsylvania Supreme Court

·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Bill Cosby will get the chance to fight his 2018 sexual assault conviction. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to review two aspects of the case the comedian’s lawyers challenged on appeal. Cosby, 82, has spent nearly two years behind bars for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. He was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison.

Cosby’s rep told Yahoo Entertainment they are “extremely thankful” the Supreme Court will look at the “false conviction.”

Pennsylvania Supreme Court grants Bill Cosby’s appeal from 2018 conviction. (Photo: Getty Images)
Pennsylvania Supreme Court grants Bill Cosby’s appeal from 2018 conviction. (Photo: Getty Images)

“We’re extremely thankful to the State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for agreeing to review Mr. Cosby’s appeal. America and the world is witnessing the 23rd day of protests regarding the abuse and murder of Black people, not just at the hands of corrupt police officers; but these extremely vital and important protests are exposing the corruption that lies within the criminal justice system,” spokesman Andrew Wyatt said, calling out “district attorneys” and “judges.”

“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,” Wyatt continued, thanking the actor’s attorneys “for their tenacious efforts in fighting for the vindication of Mr. Cosby.”

One aspect from Cosby’s case the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will examine is the judge's decision to let prosecutors call five other accusers as prior bad act witnesses. The women made allegations of previous uncharged misconduct involving sexual contact and claimed that Cosby sedated them with quaaludes. Cosby’s lawyers laid out five issues, including that the women’s claims are “unduly prejudicial” and are “not actually probative of the crimes” for which he was on trial.

The Supreme Court will also review Cosby's assertion that he had a deal with a former Montgomery County District Attorney that he'd never be charged in the case. Cosby claims an agreement was reached so he would testify in the trial accuser’s civil lawsuit, which was allowed at trial. His lawyers argue that by relying on that agreement, Cosby’s constitutional rights against self-incrimination were forfeited and later used against him. 

Constand sued Cosby and won a civil settlement in 2006. Last year, she settled a defamation lawsuit against a former Pennsylvania district attorney who didn’t prosecute Cosby in 2005 after she said the entertainer sexually assaulted her at his home outside Philadelphia.

In a statement on Tuesday, Constand said she hopes the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will “do the right thing and not allow Cosby’s wealth, fame and fortune to win an escape from his maleficent, malignant and downright criminal past and seek justice at all costs.”

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