Bill Cosby‘s appeal of his 2018 conviction for sexual assault has been accepted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. That could possibly lead to the imprisoned and disgraced comedian’s conviction ultimately being overturned. Cosby’s right-hand man Andrew Wyatt confirmed the news to USA Today on Tuesday afternoon.
“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 said. “We’re extremely thankful to our attorneys for their tenacious efforts in fighting for the vindication of Mr. Cosby.”
Cosby, 82, is currently serving three to 10 years after being convicted of sexual assault in 2018. Most recently, Cosby’s lawyers were preparing to file a motion to have him released from SCI Phoenix in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, after at least one prison guard in his facility reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to USA Today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be restricted to only reviewing two facets of Cosby’s two criminal trials, with both of them centered on witness testimony.
“The court said it will review Cosby’s case based first on whether the trial judge’s decision to allow other accusers to testify about alleged, uncharged ‘prior bad acts’ by Cosby was prejudicial as opposed to probative, a standard used to allow or disallow testimony,” USA Today reported. “The other issue the court will review is whether the trial judge improperly allowed testimony about a civil deposition Cosby gave after he said he was promised by an earlier district attorney that he would not be prosecuted. By relying on that promise, was Cosby induced to make self-incriminating statements later used against him, and does that violate his constitutional rights against self-incrimination.”
The Associated Press reported that “Cosby’s lawyers also challenged his classification as a sexually violent predator subject to lifetime supervision.” Cosby’s appeal argued that allowing other accusers to take the stand against him “flips constitutional jurisprudence on its head, and the ‘presumption of guilt,’ rather than the presumption of innocence, becomes the premise.”
Cosby was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. He was sentenced following a guilty verdict during a re-trial after his first one ended in a mistrial in 2017.
“Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy, young spirit & crushed it,” Constand told the court during Cosby’s sentencing. “He robbed me of my health & vitality, my open nature, and my trust in myself & others.”
Cosby had also been trying to secure his release from prison over coronavirus concerns. His age alone makes him vulnerable, not to mention how the virus has flourished in the American prison system. Ten percent of Pennsylvania’s total prison population is geriatric. If anyone in that group contracts the virus, those prisoners would have to be sent to already over-stressed medical facilities, which are often in rural areas.
“Without immediate action, jails and prisons will be the epicenter of the pandemic,” said Nyssa Taylor, policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.
Photos Of Bill Cosby Through The Years: From America's Dad To Prisoner
1. Bill Cosby With Robert Culp In 1966Source:Getty 1 of 19
2. Emmy Winner Bill Cosby With Camille Cosby And Carol Burnett In 1966Source:Getty 2 of 19
3. Bill Cosby in 'The Bill Cosby Show' in 1972Source:Getty 3 of 19
4. Bill Cosby With Arte Johnson And Betty White On ABC's 'Cos' In 1976Source:Getty 4 of 19
5. Bill Cosby With Jesse Jackson In 1981Source:Getty 5 of 19
6. Bill Cosby With Patti LaBelle On ABC's 'Cos' In 1976Source:Getty 6 of 19
7. The Cast Of 'The Cosby Show' In 1984Source:Getty 7 of 19
8. Bill Cosby and Harry Belafonte At 70th Annual Spingarn Awards In 1985Source:Getty 8 of 19
9. Bill Cosby Onstage At Radio City in 1986Source:Getty 9 of 19
10. Bill Cosby Receiving The Key To NYC From Mayor Koch In 1987Source:Getty 10 of 19
11. Bill Cosby, Malcolm Jamal-Warner & Geoffrey Owens In 1987Source:WENN 11 of 19
12. Bill Cosby at the State Theatre in Minneapolis in 1993Source:Getty 12 of 19
13. Bill Cosby With President Bill Clinton In 1996Source:Getty 13 of 19
14. Cast of 'The Cosby Show '9th Annual TV Land Awards in 2011Source:Getty 14 of 19
15. Bill Cosby Charged With Aggravated Indecent Assault For The 2004 Incident Involving Temple University Employee Andrea ConstandSource:Getty 15 of 19
16. Bill Cosby With Keshia Knight Pulliam At His First Trial in 2017Source:Getty 16 of 19
17. Bill Cosby Arrives at the Montgomery County Court for Sentencing on September 25, 2018Source:WENN 17 of 19
18. Bill Cosby Taken Into Custody After Being Sentenced on September 25, 2018Source:Getty 18 of 19
19. Bill Cosby's September 2018 Mug ShotSource: 19 of 19
Bill Cosby’s Sex Crime Conviction Will Be Reviewed As Pennsylvania’s Top Court Accepts His Appeal was originally published on newsone.com