Last-ditch attempt to lock up Bill Cosby ​

Tuesday - 30/11/2021 15:13
Months after Bill Cosby was released from prison, prosecutors have asked the US Supreme Court to correct the “grievous wrong” that saw him walk free.
The prosecution’s appeal to the US Supreme Court could see Cosby’s original conviction reinstated. Picture: David Maialetti-Pool/Getty Images.
The prosecution’s appeal to the US Supreme Court could see Cosby’s original conviction reinstated. Picture: David Maialetti-Pool/Getty Images.

District attorneys from Montgomery County have appealed to the US Supreme Court to overturn the ruling that freed the 84-year-old from his prison sentence in July this year.

Despite being found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in his home in January 2004, Cosby’s conviction was overturned after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled he was denied a fair trial. At the time he had served more than two years of a three-to-ten-year sentence for aggravated indecent assault.

However, the reason why Cosby had his sexual assault conviction overturned came down to an agreement Montgomery County district attorney Bruce Castor made to Cosby in 2005, in order to convince Cosby to testify.

 
The prosecution’s appeal to the US Supreme Court could see Cosby’s original conviction reinstated. Picture: David Maialetti-Pool/Getty Images.
The prosecution’s appeal to the US Supreme Court could see Cosby’s original conviction reinstated. Picture: David Maialetti-Pool/Getty Images.
 

Cosby’s lawyers claimed Mr Castor said he wouldn’t file criminal charges against the Cosby Show actor during a civil suit between Cosby and Ms Constand in 2004.

Despite this, the claims made by Cosby in the 2004 trial were used to ultimately convict him on three counts of indecent assault on April 26, 2018.

Now prosecutors have said that Mr Castor’s 2004 promise to Cosby shouldn’t have been viewed as a “binding promise that no charges will ever be filed”.

In a statement from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Kevin Steele said the US Supreme Court could correct the “grievous wrong” that had occurred.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice, Kevin Dougherty, also came forward, arguing Mr Castor should not have had the authority to make that kind of binding agreement to Cosby.

“It’s not difficult to imagine why: If district attorneys had the power to dole out irrevocable get-out-of-jail-free cards at will and without any judicial oversight, it would invite a host of abuses,” he wrote.

“So, not only is it plain that Castor’s view is wrong as a matter of law; it’s also dangerous to even implicitly suggest otherwise.”
 

Andrea Constand (left) winning a guilty verdict against Cosby was the first of its kind since the advent of the #MeToo movement. Picture: Brendan Smialowski / AFP.
Andrea Constand (left) winning a guilty verdict against Cosby was the first of its kind since the advent of the #MeToo movement. Picture: Brendan Smialowski / AFP.
 

Despite being one of the most prominent abuses brought to light in the #metoo movement, Cosby has always maintained his innocence. Before his conviction was overturned, the comedian was also denied parole in part, over his refusal to admit guilt or acknowledge any remorse for crimes he maintains he did not commit.

More than 60 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of groping, sexual assault and rape. However because the allegations date back to the 1960s, the statute of limitations on sexual assault offences prevented Cosby from being tried.

Ms Constand’s case against Cosby, was the rare exception.

An employee at Temple University’s women’s basketball team in Philadelphia- where Cosby is a graduate and trustee – Ms Constand said the actor drugged her with Benadryl and sexually assaulted her when they were socialising at his home.

In light of Cosby being released from prison, Ms Constand told NBC that while it was evidence of the “flawed” US justice system, she did not regret the civil lawsuit she brought against him.

“He’s a sexually violent predator who basically was let out of jail,” she said.

“Bill Cosby walks free, but it doesn’t change the fact that my testimony was believed.

“But it was worth it because I didn’t feel alone. I had a whole community, a whole army of women and other survivors, strangers, family, friends, who were right there with me.”

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 Keywords: Bill Cosby

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