Many Americans were horrified in 2018 when beloved television star Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault. Although Cosby was initially sentenced to between three and 10 years behind bars, his conviction was overturned on technical grounds earlier this year.
Yet, according to Fox News, prosecutors are now asking the United States Supreme Court to reverse that ruling in an attempt to send Cosby back to prison.
The network reported that Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele made his case in a petition submitted to the Supreme Court on Monday.
“This decision as it stands will have far-reaching negative consequences beyond Montgomery County and Pennsylvania,” Steele wrote. “The U.S. Supreme Court can right what we believe is a grievous wrong.”
It found that Cosby had relied upon an informal promise of immunity from Montgomery County’s district attorney given in 2005 when he made incriminating statements during civil suits filed by some of the 60 women who had accused him of wrongdoing.
In fact, the DA specifically mentioned in a press release announcing Cosby would not be charged that his alleged victims could pursue civil action against him.
Cosby “not exonerated”
“The thrust of that opinion is that, even though then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor never reached a formal agreement with Cosby that granted him immunity from prosecution, a press release that Castor sent out in 2005 — combined with Cosby’s later, incriminating testimony in a civil lawsuit — had the same effect as a formal immunity deal,” Vox explained.
Vox emphasized that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling “does not exonerate Cosby” but instead, “merely strikes down his conviction on constitutional grounds.”
In his motion, Steele went on to contend that the issue “is not that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court violated its own state’s laws.
“The point, rather, is that a reasonably prudent person would have been reckless to rely on a supposed guarantee that the prosecutor did not clearly convey and may not have had the power to grant.”
Steele added: “Prosecutors have used similar words in many press releases, in many serious cases, and they—many of them are elected state officials—no doubt will continue to do so.”