The latest appeal from Bill Cosby contends that if five other women at his retrial hadn’t been allowed to give testimony about being assaulted and drugged by him, the man once known as “America’s Dad” wouldn’t have been sentenced to up to 10 years behind bars last fall for the 2004 rape of Andrea Constand.
“This evidence was used to strip Cosby of his presumption of innocence and to try to establish that Cosby had the propensity to sexually assault women,” the comedian’s appeal attorneys Sarah Kelly-Kilgore, Kristen Weisenberger and Brian Perry wrote Tuesay in a sprawling and over-sharing formal appeal filing (read it here) in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
“This evidence never should have been admitted at trial,” the trio of Cosby’s latest lawyers adds, calling it “striking dissimilar” to what occurred with Constand, the former Temple University employee. “For the reasons set forth above, Appellant, William H. Cosby, Jr., requests this Honorable Court reverse and arrest judgment,” the 348-page brief concludes. “Alternatively, it is requested that this Court reverse and award Cosby a new trial.”
Wrapping himself in the cloak of a political prisoner of late, Cosby took to social media from behind bars to push his wife front and center for his latest Hail Mary – with a quotation oddly leaning into Donald Trump’s catchphrase:
If you have been following the under-the-radar matter over the last several years, you’ll recall that The Cosby Show creator has been pounding this drum almost since Judge Steven O’Neill imposed his sentence on September 25, 2018. Found guilty in an April retrial of three counts of aggravated indecent assault and facing up to 30 years, the much-accused 81-year-old Cosby saw the charges collapsed into one with a maximum of a decade in state prison. He also was slapped with a lifelong sexual predator label.
“The lower court abused its discretion in denying Cosby’s Motion for Declaration of Unconstitutionality, applying the registration provisions of the Sex Offender Registration Act, and designating Cosby as a sexually violent predator without benefit of a trial by jury for his conviction of allegations from 2004, all in violation of the Ex Post Facto clauses of the state and federal Constitutions,” claims the paperwork put before the Keystone State’s Superior Court today, as past Cosby filings have before and likely will again.
Accused of bias in the appeal as he has been in the past, O’Neill in a May opinion called out the “chilling similarities” in the M.O. of what Cosby used on the five women who took the stand in his retrial and Constand. Tuesday’s appeal also hit more familiar themes of an unfair jury, a political vendetta with a past Montgomery County District Attorney, and a 2006 deposition from Cosby being improperly entered into evidence.
Which means if you feel like you’ve heard almost all of this before, you have.
As with previous filings by Cosby, during and after his trials and sentencing, the Montgomery D.A. must respond. In this case, the office has 30 days and, if past reactions are anything to go by, they’ll be very dismissive, literally and figuratively.
Even as Cosby has admitted in depositions more than 10 years ago to giving Constand several Benadryl pills on the night of the alleged assault in his Philadelphia-area mansion in 2004, the actor has insisted unsuccessfully through various investigations, two trials and the sentencing hearing that the encounter was consensual.
Many of the more than 60 women also have claimed that Cosby drugged and assaulted them over the decades with a similar combo of pills and alcohol. Unlike many of those women, some of whom were among the onlookers at the two trials and the sentencing hearing last year, Cosby paid Constand millions in a once-confidential settlement about a decade before the criminal case was opened in late 2015.