by The Chicago Times Staff
November 29, 2021
PHILADELPHIA — Prosecutors have asked the United States Supreme Court to reinstate Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction, claiming in a petition released Monday that the verdict was overturned due to a questionable agreement that the comedian claimed provided him with lifetime immunity.
They claimed that the June decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to overturn Cosby’s conviction set a dangerous precedent by giving a press release the legal weight of an immunity agreement.
“The United States Supreme Court has the power to right what we believe is a grave wrong,” Steele wrote in the filing, which seeks review under the U.S. Constitution’s due process clause.
Cosby’s lawyers have long argued that when he gave damaging testimony in an accuser’s civil suit in 2006, he relied on a promise that he would never be charged. The admissions were later used against him in two separate criminal proceedings.
The only written evidence of such a promise is a press release from then-prosecutor Bruce Castor in 2005, in which he stated that there was insufficient evidence to arrest Cosby.
Steele’s attempt to resurrect the case is a long shot. The United States Supreme Court accepts less than 1% of the petitions it receives. The petition, which was filed on Wednesday but only made public on Monday, is not expected to be decided for several months.
Castor’s successors, who gathered new evidence and arrested Cosby in 2015, are skeptical that Castor ever made such a deal. Instead, they claim Cosby gave the deposition for strategic reasons rather than exercising his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, even if it backfired when “he slipped up” in his rambling testimony.
Steele, according to Cosby’s spokesperson, is “obsessed” with the actor and only wants to please “the #MeToo mob.” Defense attorneys have long claimed that the case should never have gone to trial due to a “non-prosecution agreement.”
Cosby, 84, became the first celebrity convicted of sexual assault in the #MeToo era when a jury found him guilty in 2018 of drugging and molesting college sports administrator Andrea Constand in 2004. Cosby was imprisoned for nearly three years before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered his release.