March 7, 2022
By Andrew Chung
(Reuters) – Bill Cosby avoided further legal danger on Monday when US Supreme Court rejected hearing prosecutors’ proposal to overturn last year’s sentence in Pennsylvania overturning the 2018 actor and comedian’s 2018 sentence for assault sexual.
Judges overturned a divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that Cosby should never face charges because a former local prosecutor had publicly promised in 2005 not to prosecute him, rejecting an appeal by prosecutors. The state court’s verdict acquitted Cosby after he spent nearly three years in state prison, angering victims of sexual assault and his defenders.
Cosby was sentenced to between three and ten years in prison after being convicted of three counts of indecent assault aggravated by drugs and harassing Andrea Constand, a former employee of his alma mater Temple University, at his home in 2004.
She was the first celebrity to be convicted of sexual abuse since the #MeToo movement began exposing sexual misconduct among powerful men in Hollywood and beyond.
Cosby is best known for her role as an adorable husband and father in the classic 80’s television comedy series “The Cosby Show.” He was also an influential stand-up comedian.
His family reputation was shattered after more than 50 women accused him of sexual assault for nearly five decades. Constand’s charges were the only ones against Cosby that were not too old to allow criminal charges.
His attorneys argued in the appeal that Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele should not charge Cosby in 2015 in the Constand case because Bruce Castor, who previously held the job, had refused to file criminal charges and issued a press release announcing your decision.
Steele said Monday that appealing to the Supreme Court in an attempt to reinstate the sentence was the right thing to do, and expressed his gratitude to Constand.
“All victims of crime deserve to be heard, treated with respect and supported during their day in court. I wish them all the best as they move forward in their lives,” Steele said.
Cosby’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, told Reuters, “Although we are relieved to have this saga behind us, it is not at all surprising” that the Supreme Court dismissed the district attorney’s appeal, calling it “patent frivolous.”
The previous refusal to prosecute meant that Cosby could not avoid testifying in a civil lawsuit that Constand filed against him, which led to a multimillion-dollar agreement. That testimony, in which Cosby acknowledged giving sedatives to women, played a role in Steele’s criminal case against Cosby.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in June 2021 that the indictment was fundamentally unfair because Cosby had relied on Castor’s promise to his detriment, in violation of Cosby’s right to due process under the U.S. Constitution.
Appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, Steele said the state court’s “dangerous precedent” erroneously turned a simple press release into effective immunity that “paved the way for thousands of other defendants to raise this issue and seek similar gains.” “.
Cosby’s first trial ended with a jury suspended in 2017, when jurors were unable to make a unanimous decision on his guilt. He was convicted in a second trial after the judge allowed prosecutors to call five previous prosecutors as witnesses, four more than in the first trial.
Prosecutors argued that Cosby’s assault on Constand was a well-tried crime that he perfected for decades: befriending younger women and acting as a mentor, only to sexually assault them, often with the help of drugs.
(Report by Andrew Chung in New York; Additional report by Joseph Ax; Edited by Will Dunham)
The US Supreme Court UU. rejects attempt to reinstate Bill Cosby’s sentence
Source link The US Supreme Court UU. rejects attempt to reinstate Bill Cosby’s sentence