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Pennsylvania DA Appeals to US Supreme Court to Reinstate Bill Cosby’s Conviction

The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court overturned Cosby’s conviction three years into his 10-year sentence

Kevin Steele, the Pennsylvania district attorney from Montgomery County who prosecuted Bill Cosby, is appealing the overturning of his conviction earlier this year in a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Petitioning to ask the High Court for review was the right thing to do because of the precedent set in this case by
the majority opinion of Pennsylvania Supreme Court that prosecutors’ statements in press releases now seemingly create immunity,” Steele said. “This decision as it stands will have far-reaching negative consequences beyond Montgomery County and Pennsylvania. The U.S. Supreme Court can right what we believe is a grievous wrong.”

The Montgomery County petition for writ of certiorari was e-filed and mailed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 24. After a three-day security scan of the Commonwealth’s filing, it will be reviewed for compliance and if accepted, the Clerk of the Supreme Court is expected to post the filing online.

Cosby was convicted in 2018 of a felony sexual assault charge and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was released after three earlier this year when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned that conviction.

While a Pennsylvania appeals court last year upheld Cosby’s conviction, rejecting his legal team’s argument that he wasn’t given a fair trial, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that District Attorney Kevin Steele, who arrested Cosby in 2015, was obligated to stand by his predecessor’s promise not to charge Cosby with any crimes when the comedian agreed to give potentially incriminating testimony in Constand’s civil case.

The court called Cosby’s arrest and later conviction “an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was forgone for more than a decade” and argued that “fair play and decency” required the DA to honor his predecessor’s agreement.

“Unwilling to accept its epic loss in the Pennsylvania, Supreme Court, the Montgomery County District Attorney has now filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. In short, the Montgomery County D.A. asks the United States Supreme Court to throw the Constitution out the window, as it did, to satisfy the #metoo mob,” Cosby’s spokesperson Andrew Wyatt said in a statement in response to the petition. “There is no merit to the DA’s request which centers on the unique facts of the Cosby case and has no impact on important federal questions of law. The United States Supreme Court does not typically interfere with the rulings of a State’s high court unless it conflicts with the decisions of other state high courts or our federal court of appeals. This is a pathetic last-ditch effort that will not prevail. The Montgomery County’s DA’s fixation with Mr. Cosby is troubling to say the least.”

Bill Cosby was convicted in 2018 of drugging and sexually assaulting a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, at his home in 2004. (A previous 2017 trial — which notably did not allow the testimony of five “prior acts” witnesses who testified that they were drugged and sexually assaulted in ways similar to what Constand recounted — ended in a hung jury.) Though the case involves just one woman, at least 60 women have come forward to accuse the former entertainer of sexual assault.

Cosby in 2019 claimed his trial was a “set up” and said he would not say he has any “remorse” when he came up for parole.

Cosby has long maintained his innocence against accusations of sexual assault.