PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is considering whether Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction should be overturned. A hearing was held virtually Tuesday.
Cosby’s legal team had been waiting for this day to get their argument in front of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Cosby has been in jail for two years of a three-year minimum sentence.
Hundreds of laptops, phones and other devices were tuned in Tuesday morning as Cosby appealed his aggravated indecent assault conviction.
The actor and comedian wasn’t present for the hearing before the state Supreme Court.
Even though it streamed over YouTube, Pennsylvania court rules bar us from broadcasting any part of it, so an artist was tapped to sketch the screen. The hearing lasted two hours.
An attorney for Cosby seized on the trial judge’s ruling, allowing five prior bad acts witnesses to testify. They’re women that prosecutors say demonstrated a pattern Cosby drugged scores of young women and assaulted them.
But Cosby’s lawyer described it as five mini trials with vague accusations from Jane Does. At least one justice indicated he believed the evidence was extraordinarily prejudicial. It was a moment Cosby’s publicist, Andrew Wyatt, saw as a small victory.
He spoke with Eyewitness News from his home in Alabama.
“This trial was supposed to be about Bill Cosby and Andrea Constand. It was about Bill Cosby being tried against six other people. It was six trials into one,” Wyatt said
Cosby’s legal team also pressed the high court about the use of a 2005 deposition regarding the accuser. Constand told police Cosby drugged and assaulted her inside his Elkins Park home in 2004.
Judge Steven O’Neill allowed the deposition to come in at trial despite Cosby’s lawyers saying he had a deal with former prosecutors he would never be charged in exchange for his testimony.
Stewart Ryan, a former Montgomery County prosecutor who’s now in private practice, says there was never a binding deal not to prosecute Cosby.
“Cosby’s legal team has kind of ignored that and tried to hang onto different legal arguments but at the end of the day, the trial courts found that there was no credible evidence that an agreement ever existed,” Ryan said.
Cosby’s legal team is asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to vacate the conviction and return it to the trial court.
Should the Supreme Court let the conviction stand, Cosby’s team also has options in the federal system.
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