Bill Cosby’s attorneys have filed a new appeal in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania alleging that his sexual assault trial was not fair to him.
According to court documents obtained by Fox News, Cosby’s legal team believes the jury was unfairly prejudiced against him when his trial allowed five women to testify with allegations against the comedian, despite the fact that he’d never been charged in connection with the claims.
The 83-year-old actor has been imprisoned in Philadelphia for nearly two years after a jury convicted him of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004. He’s serving a three to 10-year sentence.
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His lawyers have challenged the decision to allow past accusers to testify about events that occurred as far back as the 1970s. In their latest appeal, Cosby’s lawyers call the testimony “unduly remote” and “lacking any striking similarities or close factual nexus to the conduct for which Petitioner was on trial.”
In this Sept. 25, 2018, file photo, Bill Cosby arrives for a sentencing hearing following his sexual assault conviction at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
They also are appealing the use of a previous deposition Cosby gave during a civil case in which he admitted to the use of sedatives. The attorneys argue that Cosby was told he could not be prosecuted for the deposition.
“Petitioner reasonably relied upon those oral and written statements by providing deposition testimony in the civil action, thus forfeiting his constitutional right against self-incrimination,” the newly filed court docs read.
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The appeal covers the two areas of the trial that the state’s Supreme Court already stated it will review.
Those issues have been at the heart of the case since Cosby was charged in December 2015, days before the 12-year statute of limitations was set to expire. Prosecutors in Montgomery County had reopened the case that year after The Associated Press fought to unseal portions of Cosby’s decade-old deposition testimony in accuser Andrea Constand’s sex assault and defamation lawsuit against him, which they settled in 2006.
Dozens of other accusers came forward since to accuse Cosby of similar misconduct. Montgomery County Judge Stephen O’Neill allowed just one of them to testify at Cosby’s first trial in 2017, which ended in an acquittal.
In this Sept. 24, 2018, file photo, Bill Cosby departs after a sentencing hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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But a year later, after the #MeToo movement exploded in the wake of allegations regarding Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, the judge allowed five other accusers to testify at the retrial. The jury convicted Cosby on all three felony sex assault counts.
Prior to the several allegations against him, the actor and comedian was known as “America’s Dad” because of his role in the hit 1980s sitcom, “The Cosby Show.”