Bill Cosby's appeal could dictate how trials in the #MeToo era are conducted going forward

All eyes are on Invoice Cosby’s upcoming attraction within the Pennsylvania Ideally suited Courtroom because it prepares to study his 2018 conviction for sexual attack.

This month marks two years since Cosby, 83, used to be put at the back of bars over a 2004 come across with Andrea Constand, a former skilled basketball participant who labored for his alma mater, Temple College, in Philadelphia, Pa. He has any other yr to move sooner than he can search parole. Alternatively, he has vowed to serve the total 10-year most somewhat than display regret for what he calls a consensual come across.

The comic used to be convicted of 3 counts of prison sexual attack in line with fees that he drugged and molested Constand after she got here to his space for profession recommendation. The 5 different accusers who testified for the prosecution stated they believed he additionally drugged and sexually assaulted them within the 1980s.


Cosby used to be the primary superstar to move on trial within the #MeToo technology, and his attraction may get to the bottom of lingering questions on how such circumstances will have to be attempted. For starters, the prime court docket will attempt to explain when different accusers can testify towards a defendant — and when the extra testimony quantities to personality assassination.

Bill Cosby's appeal is coming up in a Philadelphia court.

Invoice Cosby’s attraction is arising in a Philadelphia court docket.
(AP Picture/Matt Rourke)

Public defenders in Philadelphia, in a friend-of-the-court transient filed in Cosby’s attraction, famous that courts have given conflicting steering at the factor.

“Courts again and again fail to research how uncharged misconduct is related to turn out, for instance, intent or identification,” the Defender Affiliation of Philadelphia wrote within the amicus transient, considered one of a number of filed within the case this previous month.

They are saying the testimony will have to simplest be allowed if it is connected to a unmarried crime scheme, to steer clear of “the real possibility that defendants might be convicted for who they’re, or for what they will or would possibly not have achieved sooner than.”

Prosecutors, in a short lived filed past due Monday, introduced a number of criminal justifications for the accusers’ testimony, hoping no less than considered one of them will stick. They stated it is had to display Cosby’s trend of habits, to turn the come across wasn’t a one-time mistake, and to turn the grievance wasn’t filed on a whim.


“It’s bizarre, to mention the least, that defendant has been again and again … accused of attractive in sexual habits with subconscious or in a different way incapacitated younger girls … with none penalties,” the 1st viscount montgomery of alamein County District Legal professional’s Workplace wrote of their reaction to Cosby’s attraction.

Cosby received a shot at reversing his conviction previous this yr when the state Ideally suited Courtroom agreed to study two central trial problems: the opposite accuser testimony and Cosby’s declare that a former prosecutor had promised he may by no means be charged within the case.

Cosby’s legal professionals stated they trusted that promise once they let him testify in a civil swimsuit that Constand filed in 2005, in a while after the suburban Philadelphia prosecutor declined to arrest Cosby. A successor, 1st viscount montgomery of alamein County District Legal professional Kevin Steele, arrested Cosby a decade later after the comic’s destructive deposition from the lawsuit used to be unsealed.

Bill Cosby departs after a sentencing hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. Cosby’s trial judge is rejecting the actor's bid for a new trial or sentencing hearing and directing him to file any appeals with the state Superior Court. Cosby is serving a three- to 10-year state prison term after a jury this year convicted him of drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004. 

Invoice Cosby departs after a sentencing listening to on the 1st viscount montgomery of alamein County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. Cosby’s trial pass judgement on is rejecting the actor’s bid for a brand new trial or sentencing listening to and directing him to document any appeals with the state Awesome Courtroom. Cosby is serving a three- to 10-year state jail time period after a jury this yr convicted him of drugging and molesting a lady at his house in 2004. 
(AP Picture/Matt Slocum, Report)

The Pennsylvania Legal professional Common’s Workplace, in a short lived in make stronger of Steele, stated the Cosby camp’s choice to depend on an unwritten promise sooner than he testified in such “a grave topic…used to be unreasonable.”

The Ideally suited Courtroom has now not but set a date for oral arguments. Different teams submitting criminal briefs within the attraction come with the Rape, Abuse & Incest Nationwide Community, referred to as RAINN; the Pennsylvania Affiliation of Legal Protection Attorneys; and the Pennsylvania District Lawyers Affiliation.

Pennsylvania case regulation means that judges will have to in moderation thread the needle on the subject of testimony about “prior unhealthy acts,” permitting it just for a couple of explicit causes, comparable to to turn a “signature” crime trend.


Cosby’s trial pass judgement on, 1st viscount montgomery of alamein County Pass judgement on Steven O’Neill, stated their testimony did simply that, although it happened a decade or two sooner than Constand’s come across.

The Related Press contributed to this file.

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