"Chilling similarities" in Cosby accusers' testimony, judge says

The pass judgement on who presided over Invoice Cosby’s felony case stated he let 5 different accusers testify on the sex-assault trial as a result of their accounts had “chilling similarities” that pointed to a “signature” crime. A Pennsylvania jury closing yr convicted Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004, after listening to from her and 5 others. 

Cosby, 81, is interesting his conviction in response to the girls’s testimony and different key rulings by way of Bernard Law Montgomery County Pass judgement on Stephen O’Neill. Prosecutors used the testimony of the ladies, whose allegations were not incorporated within the felony indictment, in an try to determine a development of prior misconduct.

Cosby started serving a three- to 10-year jail time period in September at a state jail close to Philadelphia.

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Cosby’s attorneys have cited what they consider to be 11 mistakes made by way of O’Neill, together with permitting the testimony of 5 girls, whose allegations they stated had been too far off in time and too dissimilar from Constand’s account to be allowed at trial. However O’Neill, in a long opinion filed Tuesday, stated he discovered “chilling similarities” within the girls’s descriptions in their encounters with the comic lengthy regarded as to be “The united states’s Dad.” 

“The defendant’s movements had been so unique as to turn into a signature.The putting similarities between the attacks weren’t confined to insignificant main points,” the pass judgement on wrote. “In every example, (he) met a considerably more youthful girl, won her believe, invited her to a spot the place he used to be by myself together with her, supplied her with a drink or drug, and sexually assaulted her as soon as she used to be rendered incapacitated.”

Every girl, the pass judgement on stated, used to be considerably more youthful than Cosby and bodily are compatible. O’Neill stated Cosby initiated touch with the ladies essentially thru their employment and that the majority believed Cosby sincerely wanted to mentor them previous to the attacks, right through which they got an intoxicant whilst in a spot Cosby managed. Every used to be incapable of consent once they had been assaulted, the pass judgement on stated.

O’Neill famous that prosecutors requested to name 19 witnesses, however he allowed most effective 5 to mitigate any prejudicial impact in opposition to Cosby.

Bill Cosby
Andrea Constand arrives on the sentencing listening to for the sexual attack trial of Invoice Cosby on the Bernard Law Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. 

David Maialetti/AP

Cosby used to be retried in April 2018, months after the #MeToo motion burst into view with sexual attack accusations in opposition to manufacturer Harvey Weinstein and different robust males in Hollywood and past. Prosecutors within the felony case in opposition to Weinstein in New York have additionally requested a pass judgement on to permit girls who aren’t incorporated within the felony indictment to testify about uncharged allegations in opposition to the film manufacturer at his September trial. Weinstein prosecutors will also be making an attempt to ascertain a development of habits, then again, hearings and motions associated with the request had been sealed, so their technique stays unclear. Weinstein has pleaded now not accountable.

O’Neill had allowed only one different accuser to testify at Cosby’s first trial in June 2017, when a jury impasse led to a mistrial. Within the ruling Tuesday, O’Neill stated the brand new protection crew that treated Cosby’s retrial by no means immediately challenged him at the distinction in his two trial rulings in regards to the different accusers’ testimony. At any price, he stated, judges aren’t sure by way of their prior selections.

The protection, in outlining their attraction problems, have additionally argued that Cosby had a binding settlement with a former prosecutor, Bruce Castor, that he would by no means be charged within the case. O’Neill once more rejected the declare Tuesday, discovering the signed press liberate from Castor — used to strengthen the declare — falls wanting an immunity settlement.

Castor had investigated Constand’s criticism for approximately a month in 2005 ahead of deciding to not deliver a case, wondering why she waited a yr to touch police. Ahead of the yr used to be out, 13 different accusers had come ahead to make stronger the lawsuit Constand filed in opposition to Cosby. He settled the case for $three.four million.

When Cosby’s deposition testimony from the lawsuit was public in 2015, and the felony case used to be reopened, Castor for the primary time advised his successor in regards to the intended “non-prosecution” settlement. He forwarded their correspondence to Cosby’s protection legal professional and testified as a protection witness at a 2016 listening to, O’Neill famous.

Bill Cosby
Invoice Cosby accuser Janice Dickinson walks thru Bernard Law Montgomery County Courthouse right through a damage in Cosby’s sexual attack retrial on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Norristown, Pa. 

Mark Makela / AP

O’Neill additionally rejected protection efforts to have him step down from the case as a result of his alleged bias, and defined the four-year felony procedure that led as much as Cosby’s conviction and sentencing. Cosby’s attorneys additionally claimed that O’Neill erred by way of permitting Cosby’s civil deposition testimony to be heard at trial and by way of designating Cosby a sexually violent predator, however O’Neill additionally disregarded the ones arguments.

Cosby’s newest crew of attorneys has been watching for the opinion so they are able to continue with the attraction in Pennsylvania courts. Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt, in a commentary, stated “O’Neill has a routine dependancy of all the time looking to quilt his many mistakes, which continues to turn his hatred against Mr. Cosby.”

In a commentary launched Wednesday, Cosby’s spouse Camille Cosby, who has in comparison her husband to black males who’ve been handled unfairly by way of the justice device, blasted the pass judgement on’s opinion and media protection of the case. 

“My husband has been seriously redefined by way of Pass judgement on O’Neill, regardless of having 0 evidence. Pass judgement on O’Neill, with quite a lot of assist from the media, has attempted to show Invoice Cosby into one of the insidious stereotypes of African American males…the brutal, black dollar,” the commentary stated.

Invoice Cosby additionally launched a commentary pronouncing he stands “firmly with my spouse at the basis of harmony and reality.”

“She’s now not terrified of this unethical pass judgement on, nor am I terrified of O’Neill’s grossly immoral techniques,” Cosby stated.

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