|Bill Cosby lost his bid to overturn his sexual assault conviction Tuesday, as an appeals court upheld the verdict in the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.
In its ruling, the Superior Court affirmed the right of prosecutors to call other accusers to bolster their case ? the same issue fought over in movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial, now set for Jan. 6.
Cosby’s lawyers had complained that the judge had let five women testify at last year’s retrial in suburban Philadelphia, although he had let just one woman testify at the first trial in 2017.
But the Superior Court said their testimony was evidence of Cosby’s “unique sexual assault playbook” and undermined any claim that he “was unaware of or mistaken about victim’s failure to consent.”
The prosecutor who took the case to trial praised Constand for inspiring other victims to come forward against powerful men. She went to police long before the #MeToo movement saw prominent men in entertainment, business, media and other fields brought down over their treatment of women.
“She came to law enforcement almost 15 years ago seeking justice for what was done to her,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said Tuesday. “The world is forever changed because of Andrea’s bravery.”
Lawyers for Cosby had argued eight issues on appeal. They challenged the judge’s decision to air Cosby’s damaging deposition testimony from a related lawsuit; said he had a binding promise from a former prosecutor that he would never be charged; and said a juror had prejudged Cosby’s guilt.