Left Menu
Development News Edition

Cosby's lawyers, claiming unfair trial, seek to overturn his sex assault conviction

Reuters | Harrisburg | Updated: 12-08-2019 15:38 IST | Created: 12-08-2019 15:31 IST
Cosby's lawyers, claiming unfair trial, seek to overturn his sex assault conviction
Image Credit: Flickr

Lawyers for comedian Bill Cosby on Monday will ask a Pennsylvania appeals court to throw out his sexual assault conviction, arguing the trial judge committed errors that deprived him of a fair trial.

The appeal will center on the decision by Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill to allow five accusers to testify that Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted them years previously, just as the victim at trial, Andrea Constand, claimed he had done. In court papers, prosecutors have countered that the testimony proved Constand's assault was the "culmination of a decades-long pattern of behavior."

"In each instance, defendant, a world-renowned entertainer, administered an intoxicant to a much younger woman in whom he had instilled trust and over whom he wielded power and influence," the Montgomery County district attorney's office wrote. Cosby, known for his role as the lovable father in the 1980s television series "The Cosby Show," saw his family-friendly reputation shattered after dozens of women accused him of sexual assault over decades. He was the first celebrity to be convicted in the "#MeToo" era.

The 82-year-old, who is serving a prison sentence of three-to-10 years, is not expected in court on Monday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In June 2017, Cosby's trial ended in a mistrial after the jury could not come to a unanimous verdict. The following April, when prosecutors tried him again, Cosby was convicted of sexually abusing Constand in 2004 after giving the unidentified pills that she testified left her semi-conscious.

Legal experts have said Cosby's best chance on appeal is to challenge O'Neill's decision permitting other alleged victims to testify. The trial concerned only Constand's allegation; the other accuser's claims were too old to lead to criminal charges. Under Pennsylvania law, such "prior bad acts" witnesses are seen as potentially prejudicial and can be admitted only under rare exceptions, such as to prove a defendant engaged in a specific pattern of behavior.

"Given the current political and social climate, one cannot imagine more prejudicial testimony to incite an emotional reaction by a jury than to parade a stream of other women accusing Cosby of having inappropriate sexual contact with them," defense lawyers wrote in court papers. They have also raised numerous other issues, including that O'Neill should not have allowed the jury to hear Cosby's testimony in a previous civil case admitting he had given Quaaludes, a sedative, to women in the 1970s with whom he wanted to have sex.



Canada’s COVID-19 pitfalls highlight need for integrated health information system

In the globalized world of today where outbreaks can spread far and wide within a matter of days, a global-level integrated health information system is ideal but Canadas provincial barriers show that the country lags much behind in deployi...

Pandemic must be impetus, not obstacle, for clean water access

To make matters worse, there are suspicions that the inadequacy of wastewater treatment methods in California, the rest of the USA, and indeed around the world may help to propagate the disease even more widely. ...

3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

How UK’s 'best prepared' healthcare system failed to gauge COVID-19

The UK is proud of their public health system and its unlike any other country as around 90 percent of British public supports the founding principles of National Health Service. But without accurate data being available to stakeholders in ...


Latest News

Current Hong Kong legislature extended for at least a year

Chinas top legislature has decided to extend the mandate for the current group of Hong Kong lawmakers for a year from its expiry date of Sept. 30, after a scheduled election was delayed, state media reported on Tuesday.Critics cast the deci...

Noida police orders attachment of mafia properties worth Rs 1.20 cr

As part of its crackdown on the regional mafia, the Gautam Buddh Nagar police on Tuesday issued orders for attaching ill-gotten properties worth Rs 1.20 crore of eight gangsters, officials said. The order has been issued for properties belo...

Magic F Ross back with team, not available Tuesday

Orlando Magic guard Terrence Ross is back with the team following off-site medical testing not related to COVID-19. The team said Ross will quarantine and not be available to face the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday afternoon. Aaron Gordon and Eva...

Refugees also affected by Beirut blast as UN relief efforts continue

So far, at least 34 refugees were among the more than 200 people reportedly killed in the blast, though the fear is that the number could rise further. Another 124 refugees were injured, 20 of them seriously, while seven are still missing...

Give Feedback