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Entertainment Legal advocates line up on both sides of Bill Cosby's appeal

01:46  15 september  2020
01:46  15 september  2020 Source:   ap.org

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Cosby was the first celebrity to go on trial in the #MeToo era, and his appeal could resolve lingering questions about how the cases should be tried. For starters, the high court will try to clarify when other accusers can testify against a defendant — and when the additional testimony amounts to character

Bill Cosby in 2018. He will continue to serve his three- to 10-year prison sentence after an appellate court rejected The appellate panel in Pennsylvania rejected Mr. Cosby ’ s appeal of his conviction for sexually assaulting her.Credit Pool “The justice system is finally catching up with modern culture.”

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2018, file photo, Bill Cosby departs after a sentencing hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. Legal advocates are lining up on both sides of actor Bill Cosby’s appeal as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court prepares to review his 2018 sex assault conviction. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2018, file photo, Bill Cosby departs after a sentencing hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. Legal advocates are lining up on both sides of actor Bill Cosby’s appeal as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court prepares to review his 2018 sex assault conviction. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Legal advocates are lining up on both sides of actor Bill Cosby’s appeal as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court prepares to review his 2018 sex assault conviction.

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Handcuffed Bill Cosby led out of court and loaded into a police vehicle after judge sentenced him to between three and 10 years for sexual assault.

Their famous client behind bars, Bill Cosby ' s legal team is readying a long-shot bid to get his sexual assault conviction overturned. The 81-year-old Cosby ' s lawyers gave glimpses of their expected appeal at his April retrial. They were dismayed by Judge Steven O'Neill' s weighty decision to let five

Cosby was the first celebrity to go on trial in the #MeToo era, and his appeal could resolve lingering questions about how the cases should be tried. For starters, the high court will try to clarify when other accusers can testify against a defendant — and when the additional testimony amounts to character assassination.

Public defenders in Philadelphia, in a friend-of-the-court brief filed in Cosby's appeal, noted that courts have given conflicting guidance on the issue.

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"Courts repeatedly fail to analyze how uncharged misconduct is relevant to prove, for example, intent or identity," the Defender Association of Philadelphia wrote in the amicus brief, one of several filed in the case this past month.

They say the testimony should only be allowed if it's linked to a single crime scheme, to avoid “the genuine risk that defendants will be convicted for who they are, or for what they may or may not have done before.”

The District Attorney was set to file its response to Cosby’s appeal brief on Monday.

Cosby, 83, will mark two years in prison this month and has another year to go before he can seek parole. However, he has vowed to serve the full 10-year maximum rather than show remorse for what he calls a consensual 2004 encounter with Andrea Constand, a former professional basketball player who worked for his alma mater, Temple University, in Philadelphia.

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CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman joins "CBS This Morning" from San Francisco to discuss Bill Cosby ' s guilty verdict in the Andrea Constand sexual

Share to Linkedin. Bill Cosby . Topline: Lawyers for comedian Bill Cosby will ask Pennsylvania judges Monday to throw out his sexual assault conviction under the argument that an error was made during his 2018 trial; the appeal ’ s outcome could impact other high-profile #MeToo cases.

Cosby won a shot at reversing his conviction earlier this year, when the state Supreme Court agreed to review two central trial issues: the other accuser testimony and Cosby’s claim that a former prosecutor had promised he could never be charged in the case.

Cosby’s lawyers said they relied on that promise when they let him testify in a civil suit that Constand filed in 2005, shortly after the suburban Philadelphia prosecutor declined to arrest Cosby. A successor, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, arrested Cosby a decade later after the comedian’s damaging deposition from the lawsuit was unsealed.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, in a brief in support of Steele, said the Cosby camp's decision to rely on an unwritten promise before he testified in such “a grave matter ... was unreasonable.”

The Supreme Court has not yet set a date for oral arguments. The other groups filing legal briefs in the appeal include the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.

Cosby was convicted of three counts of felony sexual assault based on charges that he drugged and molested Constand after she came to his house for career advice. The five other accusers who testified for the prosecution said they believed he also drugged and sexually assaulted them in the 1980s.

Pennsylvania case law suggests that judges should carefully thread the needle when it comes to testimony about “prior bad acts,” allowing it only for a few specific reasons, such as to show a “signature” crime pattern.

Cosby’s trial judge, Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill, said their testimony did just that, even if it occurred a decade or two before Constand's encounter.

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