Bill Cosby appeals his sexual assault conviction, claiming multiple trial errors

Two weeks after Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison, his lawyers are appealing his sexual assault conviction. The motion for an appeal argues that, because of multiple alleged errors in Cosby’s criminal trial, Judge Steven O’Neill was mistaken in declaring Cosby a “sexually violent predator,” the Associated Press reports.

Cosby has been in a Pennsylvania state prison since he was sentenced Sept. 25, the same day he was classified as a sexually violent predator who must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He was convicted in April on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for a 2004 encounter with Andrea Constand.

His lawyers, who indicated in April that they planned to appeal, now claim that the sentence is too harsh for the 81-year-old. They also assert that evidence never proved that the encounter with Constand took place in 2004. Her account that the assault happened that year — not earlier — means that it fell within Pennsylvania’s 12-year statute of limitations on sexual assault when she filed suit in 2016.

The appeal also argues that O’Neill shouldn’t have considered the testimony of five other women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault. The judge told the defendant at the sentencing that he had considered “voices from the past — your past,” adding that he had “heard their voices loud and clear,” per the AP. Cosby’s lawyers believe that O’Neill should have allowed only those testimonies that spoke to Cosby’s guilt or innocence.

Adding to the list of complaints, Cosby’s legal team questioned the Pennsylvania law requiring a judge to find a “mental abnormality” — which they contend has no real meaning — in order to consider someone a “sexually violent predator.”

It’s unclear when Cosby will receive a decision on his appeal, as the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office has yet to file a response. He’ll remain behind bars while he waits, though.

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