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Prosecutors ask Supreme Court to review decision overturning Bill Cosby's conviction

Prosecutors ask Supreme Court to review decision overturning Bill Cosby's conviction
Prosecutors in Pennsylvania have asked the Supreme Court to review a decision that overturned Bill Cosby's sexual assault conviction. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Prosecutors in Pennsylvania have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court's decision to overturn Bill Cosby's sexual assault conviction.

The comedian was convicted in 2018 of drugging and then sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. He had served two years of his three- to 10-year sentence when in June 2020 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated that decision on the grounds a previous prosecutor said in a press release he wouldn't charge Cosby in the case.

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On Monday, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office filed an appeal against the Pennsylvania high court's decision questioning its reasoning that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment transformed that announcement in the press release into a legally binding promise that no charges will ever be filed against Cosby in the matter.

Kevin Steele, the county's district attorney, said in a statement Monday that he is petitioning the high court for review as the lower court's decision sets dangerous precedent that press releases now create immunity.

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"This decision as it stands will have far-reaching negative consequences beyond Montgomery County and Pennsylvania," Steele said. "The U.S. Supreme Court can right what we believe is a grievous wrong."

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According to court documents, Andrea Constand reported to police in January 2005 that Cosby had sexually assaulted her at his Cheltenham residence. But a month later, then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor issued the press release that said he would not pursue charges due to a lack of evidence.

Cosby's spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, dismissed the request to the Supreme Court as an act akin to throwing the Constitution out the window.

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"There is no merit to the DA's request, which centers on the unique facts of the Cosby case and has no impact on important federal questions of law," he said in a statement. "This is a pathetic last-ditch effort that will not prevail. The Montgomery County's DA's fixation with Mr. Cosby is troubling to say the least."

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