The Supreme Court declined on Monday to review a vacant Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision Bill Cosby’s sexual assault convictions.
In June 2021, Keystone State’s highest court empty In 2018, the 84-year-old comedian was convicted of three more felony counts than indecent assault, suggesting Cosby relied on what he considered a non-prosecution agreement when he agreed to testify in civil lawsuit.
“[W]fear that, when a prosecutor makes an unconditional promise not to prosecute and when a defendant relies on that assurance to compromise his constitutional right not to testify, a fundamental principle of fairness is the basis of proper legal process in our criminal justice system that requires promises to be fulfilled,” said Justice David N. Wecht wrote in a 79-page comment.
In 2005, then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor issued a press release about the charges against Cosby, which Cosby said he relied on while sitting to be impeached in a civil case filed by his alleged victim. Andrea Constand. Cosby ultimately received a sentence of three to 10 years for assaulting Constand, with a release date as early as September 25, 2021 — before his conviction was overturned.
Kevin Steeledistrict attorney from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, appeal that was the ruling late last year, but the US Supreme Court dismissed his lawsuit without comment on Monday. Steele is the prosecutor whose office put Cosby behind bars in 2018.
During Cosby’s second trial, prosecutors convinced the jury that the artist sexually assaulted Constand, a Temple University employee. Cosby claimed that their meeting was consensual, but prosecutors defeated that defense through evidence that he allegedly engaged in a pattern of predatory behavior. At least 60 women accused Cosby of everything from rape to sexual harassment. Pennsylvania made unverified allegations from five of those women.
Cosby’s defense also challenged the inclusion of so-called “previous misconduct” in the appeal, but ultimately the common argument turned out to be that the entertainer relied on Castor’s notice before opening his own. damaging testimony.
“It is important to remember that DA Castor’s decision not to prosecute Cosby, and to publish that decision orally and in a written press release, was not designed to facilitate the use of testimony. against Cosby in a future criminal trial,” the opinion stated. “Instead, DA Castor made Cosby disenfranchise his Fifth Amendment rights as a mechanism and leverage to support Constand civil action and to improve the chances that she would receive at least a monetary benefit for the abuse she suffered, as DA Castor has determined that Constand will not, and cannot, be mitigated in a criminal trial. Through his deliberate efforts, DA Castor effectively forced Cosby to engage against him in a civil case in a way that Cosby would not have been required to do had he retained his constitutional privileges. against self-incrimination. “
Cosby’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean slammed what she called the district attorney’s “mildly frivolous” petition against the certiorari.
“While it is a relief to put this story behind our back, it is not surprising,” Bonjean told Law & Crime in an email. “[The petition] showed the office continued to operate in the belief that the rules of ethics did not apply to them, stemming from their indictment against Mr. Cosby. They must be held accountable for flagrant violations of the rules of professional responsibility.”
The district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to Law & Crime’s email requesting comment.
Read the Supreme Court’s order, below:
([Image via Michael Abbott/Getty Images]
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https://lawandcrime.com/live-trials/live-trials-current/bill-cosby/bill-cosby-will-remain-a-free-man-as-supreme-court-declines-to-review-ruling-that-overturned-his-sexual-assault-convictions/ SCOTUS will not consider Bill Cosby’s overturning ruling