Bill Cosby Loses Appeal, Will Remain Behind Bars On Sexual Assault Conviction

'This decision is a reminder that no one is above the law,' said the victim in the case.

Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse
Mark Makela / Getty Images

'This decision is a reminder that no one is above the law,' said the victim in the case.

Bill Cosby has lost his appeal on the sexual assault conviction that sent him to prison, The Associated Press reports. Barring another appeal, he will serve the remainder of his sentence.

Cosby, 82, has been behind bars since 2018, having been sentenced to three to 10 years for a 2004 incident in which he sexually assaulted Andrea Constand. That conviction came following a previous 2017 trial that ended in a mistrial. Though he’s been criminally prosecuted for the rape of Constand, multiple other women have accused him of sexual crimes, some going back decades. The statute of limitations has come and gone on many of those accusations, however.

Ordinarily, the media does not identify sexual assault victims by name, but in this case Constand has agreed to allow her name to be used.

In his appeal, Cosby, through his attorneys, argued that multiple procedural flaws in his 2018 trial led to him having been improperly convicted. Specifically, their argument centered on the court’s decision to allow other accusers besides Constand to testify in order to bolster their case, which Cosby’s team said shouldn’t have been allowed. They pointed out that only one woman had testified in the 2017 trial, while five women testified in the 2018 trial.

Further, Cosby’s attorneys said that depositions from a previous civil case shouldn’t have been allowed in his criminal trial and that he had a verbal, binding agreement with a prosecutor that he wouldn’t be charged and that he could testify freely at a deposition related to a lawsuit filed by Constand.

Bill Cosby in 2006
  United States Navy photo by Mr. Scott King / Wikimedia Commons (GPL)

In its response, the appeals court said that the testimony of other witnesses, as well as previous and/or concurrent depositions related to other cases, were both allowed and relevant, as it painted a picture for jurors of Cosby’s sexual predations.

“Not only did the (prior bad act) evidence tend to establish a predictable pattern of criminal sexual behavior unique to appellant, it simultaneously tended to undermine any claim that appellant was unaware of or mistaken about victim’s failure to consent to the sexual contact that formed the basis of the aggravated indecent assault charges,” the court said in its ruling.

Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt insisted that his client is innocent and that Cosby’s conviction and incarceration are part of a “political scheme to destroy America’s Dad.”

Constand, however, called the decision a reminder that “no one is above the law.”

Cosby could still appeal his case to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, although whether or not he intends to do so is unclear as of this writing.