One day before Bill Cosby is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing in a Pennsylvania court where he faces a trio of felony second-degree aggravated indecent assault charges that could land him behind bars for a decade, the 78-year old actor today was denied a pause in the proceedings so he could pursue an appeal.
“AND NOW, this 23rd day of May, 2016, the Application for Stay is DENIED,” the Supreme Court of the Keystone State said Monday (read it here).
Out on $1 million bail after being charged, the Cosby was basically arguing again that because a previous D.A. in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County promised back in 2005 never to prosecute, the current D.A. has no right to now do so. “Mr. Cosby has a constitutional right to meaningful appellate review, and the Commonwealth’s commitment never to bring this prosecution should be enforced now,” his May 12 petition to the state high court said.
Opening with the phrase “facts are stubborn things,” current Montgomery County D.A. Kevin Steele filed an answer to the petition for review May 19 asking that it be rejected. Part of his argument was that such an action is what the Pennsylvania Superior Court had already done — the top state court agreed. Which means The Cosby Show creator will be in Judge Steven O’Neill’s Norristown, PA courtroom tomorrow morning to face evidence from Steele’s team and possibly his alleged victim of 12 years ago, ex-Temple University employee Andrea Constand.
After trying unsuccessfully in early February to get the case shut down based on the supposed no-prosecution agreement, Cosby and his lawyers on February 12 filed a direct appeal to PA’s Superior Court to appeal O’Neill’s ruling of February 3 that the Constand case involving the criminal charges could go forward. Not long afterward, Steele filed paperwork asking the higher court to reject Cosby’s appeal attempt until after a trial is completed.
With more than 50 women nationwide claiming Cosby drugged and assaulted them over the decades, newly elected Steele laid the first criminal charges against the actor at the end of 2015 to beat Pennsylvania’s 12-year statute of limitations for such crimes. Cosby was arraigned December 30 and released on $1 million bail without entering a plea. Constand and Cosby had come to a settlement a decade ago in a civil case — a settlement Cosby now wants back because he says Constand and her then-attorneys broke the deal’s confidentiality agreement. On May 13, Constand’s current lawyers filed a motion to have Cosby’s case against her, her mother, her 2005 attorneys and National Enquirer owner American Media dismissed.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court put a stay on the criminal matter on March 1, just a week before Cosby was originally set to be in O’Neill’s courtroom for the first preliminary hearing on the charges. That stay was lifted late last month when the Superior Court quashed Cosby’s appeal and O’Neill set the new preliminary hearing date.
A team of lawyers represents Cosby from L.A., D.C. and Philadelphia led by the actor’s main attorney Christopher Tayback of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.