The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear Bill Cosby’s appeal for his 2018 conviction on Tuesday, saying that it would review the judge’s decision to allow prosecutors to call five other accusers as witnesses, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The allegations of those accusers fell outside the statute-of-limitations, but bolstered the testimony of the main accuser Andrea Constand. In addition, the judges also said they would hear arguments regarding a deal Cosby’s lawyers say he made with a former district attorney, who told Cosby he wouldn’t be charged if he sat for a deposition in a civil case Constand filed.
In April 2018 Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. He was subsequently sentenced to three to 10 years in prison. In December that same year, Cosby’s lawyers filed a list of errors they believe were made during the trial, with Cosby continuing to maintain his innocence. Cosby’s appeal was then turned down by an appellate panel in 2019, with the panel upholding his sentence, but his lawyers appealed the decision to the Supreme Court.
The review of the witness choice could have grave implications for sexual assault cases where testimonies fall outside the statute-of-limitations. The decision to allow other accusers to share their experiences even if they existed outside the statute helped to establish a pattern for Cosby’s behavior. And those five women didn’t even give an accurate picture as to how many women have accused Cosby of assault, which is dozens more.