Bill Cosby Allowed to Appeal His Conviction on Sex Assault Charges, Penn. Supreme Court RulesJune 23, 2020
The initial lawsuit in 2006 between Cosby and Constand had been settled that year. However, a decade later, more than 60 women came forward with similar allegations that Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted them.
Prosecutors decided to reopen the case in 2015, just days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired, and relied on Constand's and Cosby's statements from the prior civil deposition.
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Cosby was arrested in December 2015, and in 2017 the first jury deadlocked and a mistrial was declared. However, in September 2018, a second jury — who heard from five other accusers — convicted Cosby on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
Throughout each trial, Cosby has maintained his innocence, saying the sexual encounter between him and Constand was consensual.
According to CNN, Cosby's spokesman Andrew Wyatt said they were "extremely thankful" for the new ruling, and said the actor's ongoing plight was linked to the protests against systemic racism in the justice system.
"America and the world is witnessing the 23rd day of protests regarding the abuse and murder of Black people, not just at the hands of corrupt police officers; but these extremely vital and important protests are exposing the corruption that lies within the criminal justice system (District Attorneys & Judges)," he said in a statement, the outlet reports.
"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," Wyatt added.
Constand also released a statement on Twitter regarding the appeal, saying that she has "no doubt that the Supreme Court of PA will do the right thing."
"I respectfully ask the Supreme Court of PA to consider the enormous prospect of putting my perpetrator back into the community after being labelled a convicted sexually violent predator who has shown no remorse for his actions," she wrote.
"While everyone deserves for 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 selflessly put themselves in harm's way, such as the prior bad act witnesses in my case. They are the true heroes," she added. "Regardless of our national heritage, color, creed or identity we all deserve justice, that is a fact."
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