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Cosby's Lawyers Repeat Argument, Ask for New Trial

They argue 2018 trial was 'fundamentally unfair'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2020 11:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – After nearly two years behind bars, Bill Cosby is still fighting to get out. Lawyers for the 83-year-old appealed for a new sexual assault trial on Tuesday because, they claim, the one in which Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand during a 2004 encounter was "fundamentally unfair" in that the judge allowed Cosby's deposition from a civil lawsuit to be considered. Lawyers for Cosby—now serving a three- to 10-year prison term—say he believed he had immunity from prosecution in the case when he gave the deposition, "echoing an argument they have made previously," per NBC News. They also argue five women’s testimony about past sexual incidents and Cosby’s use of Quaaludes was "irrelevant evidence that served no legitimate non-propensity purpose."

"The jury was urged to return a verdict against Cosby based on a depiction of him, unsupported by actual evidence, as a predator who drugged and raped women for decades," the filing reads. NBC notes only one other accuser was allowed to testify for the prosecution at Cosby's 2017 trial, which resulted in a jury deadlock, versus the five in 2018. Fox News reports the appeal "covers the two areas of the trial" that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed in June to review. Prosecutors in Montgomery County intend to respond to the filing within a month, per the AP. (Read more Bill Cosby stories.)

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