Judge in Bill Cosby Case Disputes Grounds for Appeal

In a long-awaited opinion launched Tuesday, the Pennsylvania decide who presided over Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case rejected Mr. Cosby’s arguments that he had obtained an unfair trial.

It was Judge Steven T. O’Neill’s first full written clarification of the choices he made in the course of the trial and his first expanded response to a listing of grievances in regards to the decide’s actions that the protection staff has cited as grounds for its attraction. His determination permits Mr. Cosby’s attraction to maneuver ahead to the next court docket in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Cosby’s staff cited 11 grounds upon which to problem the decision-making that factored into the jury’s discovering final 12 months that the entertainer had drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand at his dwelling exterior Philadelphia in 2004.

Among Mr. Cosby’s arguments was the rivalry that Judge O’Neill had erred by permitting into proof the testimony of 5 extra girls who mentioned they too had been intoxicated and sexually assaulted by Mr. Cosby.

In his 143-page opinion, Judge O’Neill of Montgomery County, Pa., rejected the reasoning on all 11 grounds, asserting that the testimony of the extra girls was notably related due to the “chilling similarities” of their accounts, which he mentioned depicted a “signature” technique of assaulting girls.

Among the similarities, he cited, have been observations that the ladies have been all youthful, bodily match and believed that Mr. Cosby was performing as their pal or mentor. The decide wrote that every of the ladies mentioned she was maneuvered right into a location he managed, earlier than being giving an intoxicant after which bodily assaulted.

“In every occasion, [he] met a considerably youthful lady, gained her belief, invited her to a spot the place he was alone along with her, offered her with a drink or drug, and sexually assaulted her as soon as she was rendered incapacitated,” Judge O’Neill wrote. “These chilling similarities rendered [their] testimony admissible.”

“The defendant’s actions have been so distinctive as to develop into a signature,” he wrote.

The prosecution had provided 19 different girls as witnesses, and Judge O’Neill mentioned he had discovered all their accounts “related and admissible.” But he mentioned he had allowed solely 5 to testify due to the prejudicial danger of permitting too many different witnesses in a case specializing in what had occurred to Ms. Constand.

A spokesman for Mr. Cosby, who’s serving a three- to 10-year sentence in a Pennsylvania jail, mentioned in a press release that the decide’s ruling continued to point out his errors and his private bias towards Mr. Cosby.

“I’m positive that his transient will additional help our claims, that Mr. Cosby was falsely convicted, however he might be vindicated, when his attraction is reviewed by the appellate judges,” the assertion mentioned.

Judge O’Neill additionally rejected one other argument raised by the protection attorneys, who mentioned he had did not correctly credit score what they described as a binding pledge to Mr. Cosby by a former district legal professional, who testified that he had promised to not prosecute the entertainer when the case was first investigated in 2005.

Mr. Cosby was prosecuted by a subsequent district legal professional in 2015.

Judge O’Neill mentioned he discovered the statements by the previous district legal professional, Bruce L. Castor, to be inconsistent. As he recounted the case in some element, Judge O’Neill wrote, “No non-prosecution settlement or promise was ever memorialized in writing, memorandum to investigative file, letter to counsel, or filed with any court docket.”

In addition, he rejected Mr. Cosby’s declare that the 12-year statute of limitations within the case had handed by the point costs have been introduced in December 2015, discovering that Ms. Constand had constantly testified that the assault passed off in 2004.

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