Bill Cosby avoided renewed legal danger on Monday when the US Supreme Court refused to hear prosecutors’ offer to revoke last year’s ruling in Pennsylvania that annulled the 84-year-old actor and comedian in 2018.
The judges upheld the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling that Cosby should never have faced the charge because the former district attorney had publicly promised in 2005 not to prosecute him and dismissed the prosecutor’s appeal. The state court has released Cosby after spending nearly three years in a state prison, angering victims of sexual offenses and their advocates.
Cosby was sentenced to three to ten years in prison after being convicted on three counts of aggravated assault for doping and abusing Andreu Constand, a former alma mater Temple employee at his home in 2004.
He was the first famous man to be convicted of sexual violence since the #MeToo movement began exposing sexual offenses among powerful men in Hollywood and beyond.
Cosby is best known for his role as the loving husband and father in the classic television comedy series “The Cosby Show” from 1980. He was also an influential stand-up comedian.
His family-friendly reputation was shattered after more than 50 women accused him of sexual violence that spanned nearly five decades. Constand’s allegations were the only ones against Cosby that were not too old to prosecute.
His lawyers argued in an appeal that Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele should not have prosecuted Cosby in 2015 in the Constand case because Bruce Castor, who previously held the job, had refused to file a criminal case and issued a press release stating he announced his decision.
Steele said on Monday that it was appropriate to appeal to the Supreme Court in an attempt to recover the conviction and expressed his gratitude to Constand.
“All victims of crime deserve to be heard, treated with respect and support throughout the day in court. I wish her all the best as she continues in her life, “said Steele.
Cosby’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
An earlier refusal to prosecute meant that Cosby could not avoid testifying in a civil case that Constand had filed against him, which led to a multi-million dollar settlement. The testimony, in which Cosby admitted to giving women sedatives, played a role in Steele’s criminal case against Cosby.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in June 2021 ruled that the prosecution was fundamentally unfair because Cosby had relied on Castor’s promise to his detriment, in violation of Cosby’s right to a fair trial under the US Constitution.
In his appeal to the US Supreme Court, Steele said the “dangerous precedent” of the Supreme Court falsely turned a direct press release into an effective immunity that has “paved the way for thousands of other defendants to sue in the case and seek similar unexpected consequences.”
Cosby’s first trial ended in a suspended verdict in 2017, when judges could not reach a unanimous verdict on his guilt. He was convicted in the second trial after the judge had the prosecutor call five former prosecutors as witnesses – four more than in the first trial.
Prosecutors argued that Cosby’s attack on Constand was a well-trained offense he had honed for decades: befriending younger women and acting as a mentor, only to sexually abuse them, often with the help of drugs.
US Supreme Court Justices Appeal to Reconciliate Bill Cosby – SABC News
Source link US Supreme Court Justices Appeal to Reconciliate Bill Cosby – SABC News