lawyer for Bill Cosby Ask the United States Supreme court on Monday to dismiss an attempt by prosecutors to revive a criminal sexual assault case, six months after the disgraced comedian was unexpectedly released from prison.
The 84-year-old The Cosby Show star has been free since June, when she Pennsylvania An appeals court overturned his conviction and allowed him to be released from prison after nearly three years.
The state’s highest court found Cosby believed he had a non-prosecution agreement with a former attorney general when he gave prejudicial testimony in the defendant’s 2005 lawsuit. This testimony later led to his arrest in 2015.
Cosby’s attorney, Jennifer Bunjian, says the case is based on a narrow set of facts that should not concern the nation’s highest court.
“Although the Commonwealth has warned of imminent catastrophic consequences, Cosby’s ownership is likely to be limited to the ‘rare, if not entirely unique’ set of circumstances, which would make a review by this court particularly unwarranted,” she wrote in the 15-page response. . Monday.
Bill Cosby’s attorney asked the US Supreme Court on Monday not to revive the sexual assault case, saying it should not concern the nation’s highest court. Cosby is seen flashing the letter ‘V’ to signify victory after his sudden release from prison in June 2021
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Attorney General Kevin Steele’s attempt to revive the case was a long way off.
The US Supreme Court accepts less than 1% of the petitions it receives. At least four judges from the nine-member court will have to agree to hear the case.
The only written evidence of the promise not to prosecute is a 2005 press release from Bruce Castor, the attorney general at the time, which said he did not have sufficient evidence to arrest Cosby. Steele does not believe this amounts to an immunity agreement.
The release included a vague “warning” that Castor would “reconsider this decision if the need arises”. The parties have since spent years debating what that means.
Castor’s successors, who gathered new evidence and arrested Cosby in 2015, say that falls short of a lifelong immunity deal. They also suspect that Castor made such a deal.
Instead, they say, Cosby had strategic reasons for giving the affidavit rather than invoking his Fifth Amendment’s right to remain silent, even if it backfired when he “slid” into his scattered testimony.
However, defense attorneys say the case should not have gone to trial because of what they call a “non-prosecution agreement”.
Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned Cosby’s 2018 conviction after ruling that the actor had a non-prosecution agreement with former DA Bruce Castor (left). Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele (right) in November asked the Supreme Court to review the Appeals Court’s decision to overturn Cosby’s conviction
Cosby, who was pictured leaving court in 2015, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, despite making incriminating statements in an affidavit.
A Pennsylvania jury in 2018 found Cosby guilty of drugging and molesting college athletic director Andrea Konstand (pictured) in 2004
Cosby became the first celebrity to be convicted of sexual assault in the #MeToo era when a jury in his 2018 retrial found him guilty of drugging and molesting college sports director Andrea Konstand in 2004.
Appeals judges expressed sharply different opinions in the Cosby case. An intermediate state court upheld the conviction. The seven justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court then wrote three separate opinions on it.
The majority found that Cosby relied on the decision not to prosecute him when he admitted to giving a group of young women drugs and alcohol prior to sexual encounters. The court did not go so far as to discover the existence of such an agreement, but said that Cosby believed there was – this dependence, they said, spoiled his conviction.
But prosecutors call that conclusion flawed. They noted that Cosby’s attorneys vehemently objected to the filing’s questions rather than letting him speak freely.
Cosby himself never testified about any agreement or promise. The only alleged participant to come forward was Castor, a political rival to Steeles who went on to represent former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. Castor said he made a promise to Cosby’s now-dead defense attorney, and got nothing in return.
He never mentioned it to top aide Risa Furman, who led his own Cosby investigation.
She later became the district attorney, and reopened the case in 2015 after a federal judge exposed Cosby’s testimony.
In an impressive pre-trial hearing in February 2016, Castor spent hours testifying for the defense. He said he printed the press release himself, after office hours, and intended to convey different layers of meaning to lawyers, the press and the public.
The judge found him unreliable and referred the case to trial.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in its June 30 ruling, called Cosby’s arrest an “affront to fundamental justice.”
Legal scholars and victims’ advocates will be watching closely to see if the Supreme Court takes an interest in the case.
Two court judges, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, have been charged with sexual misconduct during their bitter-fight hearings, which are nearly 30 years apart.
Cosby, through his spokesperson, W. Kamau Bell (pictured), who directed the four-part docuseries, criticized Cosby as a “PR hack”
The story of Cosby’s rise and fall is the subject of the new documentary series We Need to Talk About Cosby, which premiered on Showtime on Sunday.
Cosby, the leading black comedian, created the highest-rated Cosby show in the 1980s.
A barrage of sexual assault allegations later decimated his image as the “Father of America” and led to multi-million dollar court settlements with at least eight women. But Konstand’s case was the only one that led to criminal charges being brought.
The story of Cosby’s rise and fall is the subject of the new documentary series We Need To Talk About Cosby, which premiered on Showtime on Sunday, and received rave reviews from critics.
Directed by stand-up comedy and television host W Kamau Bell, the four-part documentary grapples with Cosby’s complex legacy, and features interviews with survivors, colleagues, and cultural commentators.
In the days leading up to the release of the documentary series, Cosby, through his spokesperson, criticized Bill as a “PR hack” and stated that he “vigorously denies all allegations against him.”