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Bill Cosby Files Lengthy Appeal

Challenges testimony from other accusers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 25, 2019 6:51 PM CDT
In this Sept. 25, 2018, file photo, Bill Cosby arrives for a sentencing hearing following his sexual assault conviction at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown Pa.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(Newser) – Bill Cosby has filed a lengthy appeal of the sex assault conviction that landed him in prison, complaining the testimony of five other accusers was "strikingly dissimilar" to the pending felony charges and should not have been aired in court, the AP reports. The appeal Tuesday challenges Judge Steven O'Neill's view that the women's testimony showed "chilling similarities" and pointed to a "signature" crime. Cosby's team also said O'Neill should have stepped down over an alleged feud with a former prosecutor who had declined to charge Cosby when Andrea Constand first went to police in 2005. The 81-year-old comedian has been serving a three- to 10-year prison term since September at a state prison near Philadelphia. His insurance company this year recently settled lawsuits filed by at least eight other women who had accused Cosby of sexual misconduct and, in most cases, defamation.

The appeal, filed in Pennsylvania Superior Court, attacks Cosby's conviction on a number of grounds that have been central to the case, and argued repeatedly, since his December 2015 arrest. The defense has long argued that any testimony from other accusers would unfairly stack the deck against Cosby, given that he was never charged in those cases. Cosby's lawyers have also complained that many of the accounts are decades old, and nearly impossible to defend. And they say the five women who testified to bolster the prosecution case at Cosby's retrial last year alleged different types of sexual contact than Constand did. They also argued the jury should not have heard Cosby's 2006 deposition testimony from Constand's civil case, in which he talked of getting quaaludes in the 1970s to give women before sex. That testimony, unsealed after a decade, led a new district attorney to reopen Constand's police complaint and ultimately charge Cosby.

(Read more Bill Cosby stories.)

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