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U.S. Supreme Court nixes bid to reinstate Bill Cosby’s conviction -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Bill Cosby is seen with Jennifer Bonjean, a lawyer, outside of his Elkins Park home, Pennsylvania. He was released immediately by the highest court in Pennsylvania.


By Andrew Chung

(Reuters). Bill Cosby avoided new legal troubles Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court turned down a prosecution request to reverse a Pennsylvania court ruling last year that overturned Cosby’s 2018 conviction for sexual abuse.

In allowing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court split decision that Cosby should not have faced charges, the justices said Cosby was innocent because the previous local district attorney had in 2005 publicly pledged to stop prosecuting him. This turned down an appeal by the prosecutors. Cosby was released by the state court after spending nearly three years behind bars. This angered victims of sexual assault and advocates.

Following his 2004 conviction for three counts of aggravated assault for drugging, and molesting Andrea Constand at his residence, Cosby was sentenced by the court to three to 10 year imprisonment.

After the #MeToo movement started exposing the sexual misconduct of powerful Hollywood men, this was his first conviction as a celebrity for sexual abuse.

Cosby is most well-known for his portrayal of the loving husband and father on the 1980s TV comedy “The Cosby Show.” Also, he was an influential stand up comedian.

After more than 50 women accused Cosby of sexual assaults that spanned nearly fifty years, his family-friendly reputation was shaken. Constand’s claims were the sole ones that Cosby could be charged with criminal offenses.

The Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele was not authorized to charge Cosby with the Constand 2015 case. This is because Bruce Castor who had held the position previously declined criminal charges. Steele released a press release informing the public of his decision.

Cosby couldn’t avoid being a witness in Constand’s civil case against him. The settlement was multimillion-dollar. Cosby’s testimony that Cosby gave sedatives was part of Steele’s criminal case.

In June 2021, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that Cosby relied upon Castor’s promise for his benefit. This was in direct violation of Cosby’s rights to due process under the U.S. Constitution.

Steele, in an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, stated that Steele’s state court’s dangerous precedent had wrongly made a press release into an effective immune which “paved the way for thousands more defendants” to raise this matter and pursue similar benefits.

In 2017, Cosby was convicted by a hung jury. Jurors couldn’t reach an unanimous verdict on Cosby culpability. After the judge allowed five of his prior accusers to be called as witnesses, he was found guilty at the second trial. This is four more than the verdict from the original trial.

Prosecutors said that Cosby attacked Constand with a well-rehearsed, long-standing offense. Cosby had been friends with younger women for decades and acted as a mentor. However, he would sexually assault Constand often using drugs.

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