(LOS ANGELES) — Bill Cosby, the highest-profile celebrity so far to be convicted of sexual assault since the dawn of the nationwide #MeToo movement in 2017, got what could be his last shot on Monday at convincing a Pennsylvania court to free him from state prison and grant him a new trial.
A panel of state Superior Court judges repeatedly challenged the arguments from Cosby’s fourth set of attorneys during the hearing, while only occasionally interrupting two state prosecutors during their presentation, over roughly an hour of oral arguments at an appellate court hearing in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
In a statement delivered outside of the courtroom after the hearing, Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt called the comedian’s accusers the “scum of the Earth,” who “only started looking for justice after their careers expired and their money ran out that they had career aspirations of being a celebrity didn’t to happen.”
Wyatt also claimed the DA and the original trial judge were part of a cabal that includes President Donald Trump, a group intent on “going after wealthy black men.”
“Mr Cosby is very hopeful that these judges will grant him a fair and impartial trial that he did not have, said Wyatt, adding, “The deck was stacked.” He said Cosby hopes “they will do the right thing and grant Mr. Cosby a new trial.”
While Pennsylvania Superior Court rulings can be appealed to the state’s Supreme Court, that court can choose whether or not to hear the case.
The Superior Court panel’s ruling on Cosby’s appeal will be issued in writing at an unspecified future date.
At the heart of Cosby’s appeal is the contention that the trial judge’s decision to allow five women to testify to additional, uncharged crimes was unfairly prejudicial to his defense.
In April, 2018, Cosby — who was not in court for Monday’s oral arguments — was convicted of three counts of indecent assault and battery for drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University basketball coach Andrea Constand in 2004. He was sentenced in September to three to 10 years in prison.
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