Bill Cosby remains in prison after an appeals court in Pennsylvania rejected Cosby’s bid to overturn his sexual assault conviction. Cosby’s legal team argued that five additional women should not have been allowed to testify at his trial, stating their testimony involved “strikingly dissimilar acts” that were too distant in time to be considered. But in its ruling, the court sided with survivors and rejected this argument.
Many are watching this case closely as Cosby is the first celebrity conviction in the #MeToo era. Former Hollywood magnate Harvey Weinstein and his legal team are sure to be taking notes as Weinstein’s sexual assault case will go before a judge on January 6 and his legal team has attempted the same argument to prevent additional witnesses from testifying.
Cosby, 82, was found guilty of aggravated indecent assault in April 2018 for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former administrator at his alma mater, Temple University. The incident took place in 2004 in Cosby's Philadelphia home. After over 50 horrifying allegations from different women came to light, many of which passed the statute of limitations to charge Cosby, courts are finally saying they won't back down on evidence that the former-actor is a sexually violent predator.
“This decision is a reminder that no one is above the law,” Constand said in a text message to The Associated Press. Constand initiated her case against Cosby long before #MeToo was making headlines. “She came to law enforcement almost 15 years ago seeking justice for what was done to her,” prosecutor Kevin Steele said Tuesday. “The world is forever changed because of Andrea’s bravery.”
Cosby must now decide whether to take his appeal to the Supreme Court for further review. Cosby is currently serving his 3 to 10 year sentence at SCI Phoenix — a state prison near Philadelphia.
Still, Cosby maintains his innocence — he's even gone so far as to refer to himself as a "political prisoner," comparing himself to Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. Yet he’s also admitted to getting prescription Quaaludes to give to women before sex and has acknowledged he had sexual contact with multiple younger women who were seeking his professional advice.
As the star of the once-beloved sitcom The Cosby Show, the actor and comedian was frequently referred to as “America’s father,” while behind the scenes rampant abuse was taking place. But of course, Cosby's legal team is pandering to this identity, saying that this whole thing is “a political scheme to destroy America’s Dad,” according to the Associated Press. Needless to say, America's dad ceased to exist when the faces of 50 women cried stories of rape and harassment.