PA Supreme Court Overturns Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Conviction

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently overturned a sexual assault conviction against Bill Cosby, concluding that the prosecutor’s office, which ran the case, had improperly reneged on a prior agreement not to prosecute Cosby for the sexual assault charges that he was ultimately convicted for. The supreme court’s ruling did not comment on the jury verdict but instead based the decision on a violation of Cosby’s due process rights.

Cosby’s First Trial Resulted in a Hung Jury

Cosby underwent two trials on his charges. Attorney Joseph Marrone of the Marrone Law Firm, LLC explained in an interview with WTXF FOX 29 that Cosby was able to be tried twice because his first trial ended in a hung jury that could not reach a unanimous decision, resulting in the trial judge declaring a mistrial that effectively rendered that first trial “void” because no decision was reached.

Retrial Includes Other Accusers Testifying Against Cosby

Although Cosby’s first trial only included testimony from one woman accusing Cosby of sexual assault, his retrial included testimony from five women. Attorney Joseph Marrone explained that although Cosby was not on trial for the assault alleged by those other women, their testimony could be admitted to show a consistent pattern of how Cosby committed abuse. Attorney Marrone also noted that Cosby’s retrial was taking place following the #metoo movement, which could potentially sway jurors, as well as Cosby’s sentencing if he were convicted.

First Week of Retrial

The first week of Cosby’s retrial included testimony from multiple women who accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them, including the victim for whom Cosby was facing trial. Attorney Joseph Marrone noted that each of the alleged victims had common threads in their description of how Cosby assaulted each of them, believing that it would help connect and corroborate the allegations of the victim for whom Cosby was on trial.

Second Week of Retrial

The second week of trial included testimony from the primary victim and from her mother. The jury also heard testimony from a deposition Cosby had given several years ago in which he described his conduct with women. Attorney Joseph Marrone in a Fox29 interview also noted that the defense team for Cosby was attempting to interject reasonable doubt into the minds of the jury by establishing a narrative that the victim had fabricated her allegations in an attempt to extort money from Cosby.

Cosby Convicted Following Retrial

Ultimately, Cosby was convicted on his sexual assault charges following the retrial. In an interview with CBC Toronto, Attorney Joseph Marrone noted that bringing in the additional alleged victims’ testimony had an impact on the outcome of the case. Attorney Marrone also cited the unsealing of Cosby’s deposition testimony as encouraging the other victims to come forward and testify consistent with Cosby’s own description of his encounters with women. Attorney Marrone also noted the effect that the #metoo movement and the effort to hold celebrities accountable for sexual assault had an impact on the jury.

Cosby Appeals His Conviction

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear Cosby’s appeal of his sexual assault conviction. Attorney Joseph Marrone noted that the supreme court case would focus on the increased number of alleged victims testifying in the second trial as well as the purported deal between Cosby’s attorney and the prosecutor’s office that Cosby would not be charged with sexual assault. 

PA Supreme Court Overturns Cosby’s Conviction

The supreme court ultimately ruled that the prosecutor’s office was bound by its agreement with Cosby’s legal team not to charge him with sexual assault. Attorney Joseph Marrone told Fox29 that the prior district attorney had agreed not to charge Cosby in exchange for him agreeing to testify in a deposition in the civil lawsuit brought by the victim. However, in Cosby’s retrial, his deposition testimony was used against him to bolster the state’s case.

Contact an Experienced Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Charges

Were you arrested or charged in Pennsylvania? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Marrone Law Firm, LLC have successfully represented clients charged in Philadelphia, Center City, University City, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (866) 732-6700 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 200 South Broad Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19102.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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