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Pennsylvania Supreme Court hears Bill Cosby's appeal of sexual assault conviction
Justices on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reportedly sounded "deeply skeptical" over prosecutors' arguments during a Tuesday hearing on Bill Cosby's sexual assault conviction.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday after Cosby's attorneys appealed his 2018 conviction, and "many of the seven justices seemed doubtful of the prosecution's assertions," USA Today reports. Cosby's attorneys argue that five accusers shouldn't have been permitted to testify against him as "prior bad acts" witnesses during his trial on charges of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004, and his attorney said Tuesday that as a result of this testimony, the "presumption of innocence just didn't exist for him," per Variety.
During the hearing, Variety reports several justices seemed "deeply skeptical" about the five witnesses testifying during the trial, with Justice Max Baer telling Cosby's attorney, "I tend to agree this evidence was extraordinarily prejudicial to your client." The judges also appeared "dubious" over the prosecution's argument that this testimony demonstrated a common pattern of behavior, Variety writes. Justice Christine Donohue reportedly said, "Frankly I don't see it."
Chief Justice Thomas Saylor also asked the prosecution how the "conduct you describe" can amount to a "common scheme" when "there's literature that says that" the steps outlined are "common to 50 percent of these assaults," The Associated Press reports.
At least four of the seven members of the state Supreme Court ultimately "sharply" questioned the prosecution during the hearing, CNN reports. Cosby is serving a sentence of between three and 10 years in prison following his conviction. According to the USA Today, a ruling isn't expected for months.