Bill Cosby Says ‘Systematic Racism’ Led To His Sexual Assault Conviction
Bill Cosby’s appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has been accepted after after Cosby cited systematic racism as the reason for his sexual assault conviction. Cosby, who was convicted in 2018 is serving up to 10 years in prison.
When the 300-page appeal was originally accepted Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt stated, “The false conviction of Bill Cosby is so much bigger than him — it’s about the destruction of ALL Black people and people of color in America.”
The appeal is accepted during the heat of the Black Lives Matter movement, in comparison to the #MeToo movement that was blossoming during the time of his conviction. In 2018, many women were coming forward sharing stories of sexual assault and currently there is a lot of discussion on the treatment of black citizens and people of color in the justice system.
Appellate lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said last week that even though Cosby is famous it “does not change his status as a black man.” She added, “It would be naïve to assume that his prosecution was not tainted by the same racial bias that pervades the criminal justice process in both explicit and insidious ways.”
In an interview with ABC last month, Cosby’s wife Camille Cosby criticized the #MeToo movement by saying that it excludes “the history of particular white women” who have “accused black males of sexual assault without any proof.”
Cosby had two trials. The first was in June 2017 and ended in a mistrial when the jury could not come to a conclusion. The second was in April 2018 and the jury convicted Cosby on three accounts of aggravated sexual assault of Andrea Constand in his home in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
Most of the appeal is based on trial judge Steven O’Neil’s decision to allow only one prior bad acts accuser to testify in the first trial while in the second he allowed five. This could have potentially caused Cosby to make self-incriminating statements, which would be in violation of his constitutional rights.