PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Bill Cosby's lawyers asked a Pennsylvania court to overturn the plaintiff's conviction and three to ten year prison sentence for what they call a series of errors in his sexual assault case.
The defense motion argued that trial judge Steven O & # 39; Neill made a mistake in declaring Cosby a sexually violent predator who must be jailed to protect the community. The lawyers rated the sentence as more punitive than necessary, given the standard range of two to three years for the crime and the fact that Cosby is 81 and blind.
They also said that the trial evidence never proved that the encounter with the accuser Andrea Constand took place in 2004 and not in 2003, or that Cosby was arrested within the 12-year limit.
Cosby was arrested on December 30, 2015 and was convicted in a second trial in April. He has been in a state prison near Philadelphia since the Sept. 25 ruling, when the judge refused to let him stay on $ 1 million bail pending the appeal. Given her reputation, wealth and use of drugs to annoy the accuser, the judge said, Cosby could continue to be a threat to other women.
The defense motion said that O'Neill incorrectly considered testimony at the trial of five other accusers when convicting Cosby, rather than limiting the testimony of "wrongdoing" to the issue of his guilt or innocence. O'Neill, explaining the judgment in court, told Cosby that he considered "voices from the past, his past" and that he "heard their loud and clear voices," the defense said.
The lawyers also challenged the state's sex offender laws, which have been revised several times amid challenges that are unconstitutionally vague. The law requires judges to find that a sexually violent predator has a "mental abnormality," a term that, they say, has no legal or psychological meaning, and yet subjects are subject to life-long counseling and police search.
The defense motion, dated Friday, was published in a public court file in the case over the weekend. Kate Delano, a spokeswoman for the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, said the office will file a response.
The motion was filed by attorney Peter Goldberger, a prominent appellate attorney in the region, and Joseph P. Green Jr., who handled Cosby's sentence after more than a dozen other lawyers in the case had come and gone . A former appellate attorney in the case is suing Cosby for what he called more than $ 50,000 in unpaid bills.
The defense also complained that an audio recording reproduced by the jurors of a 2005 conversation between Cosby and Gianna Constand, the mother of accuser Andrea Constand, "was not authentic." They said they did not make the discovery until an expert reviewed it after the trial.
District Attorney Kevin Steele has dismissed that as a matter of legitimate appeal, saying that it is known that Gianna Constand started her tape recorder after the call began. She had called Cosby to get answers about what happened to her daughter after Andrea Constand revealed the assault a year later. The family went to the police, who suggested they try to film Cosby.
During the call, Cosby acknowledged participating in a "digital penetration" after giving her daughter unidentified pills, and offered money to Andrea to attend graduate school, Gianna Constand testified.
"If that's what they have, it's beyond a Hail Mary," Steele said in sentencing, as Cosby's lawyers tried to keep Cosby on bail during the recording. O 'Neill, on the other hand, had taken Cosby out of the room with handcuffs.