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State Supreme Court hears Bill Cosby’s appeal of sex assault conviction

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is hearing arguments in Bill Cosby’s appeal to have his 2018 aggravated indecent assault conviction overturned.

According to Variety, the justices appeared skeptical about whether five accusers should have been allowed to testify during Cosby’s 2018 trial. On Tuesday, Justice Max Baer agreed with Cosby’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, that their testimonies were “extraordinarily prejudicial” to her client.

Cosby, 83, is serving a three- to 10-year sentence for sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his Cheltenham home in 2004. During his trial, prosecutors argued that the comedian had a penchant for drugging and raping unconscious women. More than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault.

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During the initial 2017 trial, which ended with a hung jury, Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill allowed one prior accuser to testify. Five accusers testified during Cosby’s second trial, according to Variety.

“He had no shot. The presumption of innocence just didn’t exist for him at that point,” the comedian’s lawyer’s said.

According to CNN, Assistant District Attorney Adrienne Jappe argued that the witnesses’ testimonies were integral in proving Cosby followed a similar plan in his assaults. It also proved his actions in 2004 were not accidental, the prosecutor said.

The court scrutinized Jappe’s argument, suggesting that some of the witness accounts  —  some of which dated back to the ’80s — were too dissimilar to the allegations lodged by Constand.

“If you’re talking about a signature, you better incorporate all the facts we have … because frankly, I don’t see it,” Justice Christine Donohue commented, according to the Tribune-Review.

A decision regarding Cosby’s appeal is expected to take several months.

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[Featured image: Bill Cosby/State Correctional Institution-Phoenix, Montgomery County Correctional Facility]