Judge rejects Bill Cosby’s arguments for appeal | TribLIVE.com

Judge rejects Bill Cosby’s arguments for appeal

Bill Cosby is escorted by police in handcuffs as he exits the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Norristown, Pa., Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Cosby and his wife, Camille, Wednesday slammed as racist the opinion of a judge who denied his attempt for an appeal of his sex assault conviction.

A Pennsylvania judge systematically snubbed all of Bill Cosby’s arguments for appeal in a lengthy new opinion that the comedian and his wife blasted as racist Wednesday.

Judge Steven O’Neill, who presided over the sex assault trial that led to Cosby’s conviction last year, said in his 143-page response that Cosby showed a “chilling” and “signature” pattern of predatory behavior and his prison sentence of three to 10 years should stand.

The judge fiercely defended his decision to allow testimony from five accusers known as “prior bad acts” witnesses at the trial that led to Cosby’s conviction on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted former Temple University staffer Andrea Constand in January 2004.

He said the women’s accounts showed “chilling similarities” with Constand’s claims, making their testimony admissible under the “common plan, scheme or design and the absence of mistake exceptions.”

“The defendant’s actions were so distinctive as to become signature,” O’Neill wrote. “In each instance, the defendant met substantially younger women, gained her trust, invited her to a place he was alone with her, provided her with a drink or drug and sexually assaulted her once she was rendered incapacitated.”

In a statement issued by their spokesman, Cosby and his wife, Camille, slammed the judge.

“Now, after more than 50 years of work that humanized the dehumanized — which also challenged the perpetual architects of racist, exploitive and greedy maneuvers that have enabled them to divide and conquer — my husband has been severely redefined by Judge O’Neill, despite having zero proof,” the statement attributed to Camille said.

“Judge O’Neill, with a great deal of help from the media, has tried to turn Bill Cosby into one of the most insidious stereotypes of African-American men … the brutal, black buck,” the statement said.

Cosby, 81 and now in a maximum-security state prison, supported his wife’s statement, according to spokesman Andrew Wyatt.

“I stand firmly with my wife on the foundation of solidarity and truth,” Cosby said, according to the spokesman. “Camille has always been a fearless warrior against corruption and bigotry. She’s not afraid of this unethical judge, nor am I afraid of O’Neill’s grossly immoral tactics.”

Cosby’s comments did not specifically address the judge’s arguments presented in the opinion.

In his lengthy recap of the high-profile trial, O’Neill also defended his decision to allow jurors to hear deposition testimony from Cosby in which the comedian admitted he stockpiled Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with.

“The defendant’s own words about his use and knowledge of drugs with a depressant effect was relevant to show his intent and motive in giving a depressant to Ms. Constand,” the judge wrote.

O’Neill further said Cosby never obtained a formal grant of immunity from former Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney Bruce Castor in 2005, so it was legal to charge him in December 2015.

Cosby now is expected to pursue his appeal in a higher court.

An appeals court recently denied Cosby’s request to get out of prison on bail pending his quest to overturn his conviction.

One of his accusers laughed at the request.

“It’s pretty hilarious. Honestly, the fact that I’m able to laugh at this buffoonery is a real sign of my healing and closure,” accuser Lili Bernard told the New York Daily News last month.

Bernard stepped forward in 2015 to say she was drugged and raped by Cosby in the early 1990s after he cast her on “The Cosby Show” as a pregnant patient of his character Dr. Cliff Huxtable.

“It’s highly creative and desperate, of course,” she said of his motion. “It’s more of his three-ring circus. But I guess it’s an indication he’s suffering. Who wants to be in prison? But he’s a convicted serial rapist. That’s where he belongs.”

Categories: News | Pennsylvania
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