PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has granted Bill Cosby the opportunity to appeal his 2018 sexual assault conviction. The 82-year-old is nearly two years into a three to 10-year prison sentence for drugging and sexually assaulting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.
Constand called Cosby a sexually violent predator and has asked the Supreme Court to give this decision the proper weight. But in speaking Tuesday, her focus has moved beyond her case.
The Supreme Court agreed to review several aspects of the 2018 trial, including whether the jury should have heard Cosby’s own testimony about the use of quaaludes as it stemmed from a separate civil case where Cosby’s lawyers have argued their client was promised criminal immunity.
The state’s highest court will also consider whether the testimony of five other accusers should have been allowed when Cosby was solely on trial for the drugging and sexual assault of Constand.
“Many things can actually trigger you and we all experience that to some degree,” Constand said.
Before speaking with Eyewitness News over Zoom, Constand released a statement on Twitter regarding the court’s decision.
It read in part: “While everyone deserves their cries and appeals to be heard, even convicted criminals, if anyone’s cries matter most right now, it’s the women who have lifted their voices and have selflessly put themselves in harm’s way, such as prior bad act witnesses in my case.”
— Andrea Constand (@ConstandAndrea) June 23, 2020
Constand’s work with and for other sexual assault survivors has been key in her personal journey towards healing.
“What we wanted to do was bring important technology to survivor’s fingertips,” she said.
She has developed a smartphone tool called SAFEAPP, which is designed to help other victims connect with the emotional and legal help they need.
“It was a natural part of my journey of looking and saying, ‘What can I do, how can I take my experience and my journey and turn it around and help other people?'” Constand said.
As for the appeal, Constand says her focus remains on the future.
Cosby’s team released a statement of their own, which read in part: “As we have all stated, the false conviction of Bill Cosby is so much bigger than him — it’s about the destruction of ALL Black people and people of color in America. We’re extremely thankful to our attorneys (Brain Perry, Jennifer Bonjean & Barbara Zemlock) for their tenacious efforts in fighting for the vindication of Mr. Cosby.”
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office has said that they are confident that previous decisions dismissing these appeals will be upheld.