Prosecutors ask for accusers to testify at Cosby sentencing
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Prosecutors in the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby asked a judge Tuesday to allow testimony at his sentencing hearing about uncharged criminal conduct.
A Montgomery County prosecutor asked permission to present multiple witnesses who he expects will testify that Cosby drugged and or sexually assaulted them. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 24, when the judge is also expected to hear arguments on whether to accept a recommendation to classify Cosby as a sexually violent predator.
It was unclear who or how many witnesses District Attorney Kevin Steele planned to call, but the filing said Cosby has not been charged with crimes related to their claims.
“The maxim that uncharged conduct may be considered to assess a defendant’s dangerousness to the community, character, background and rehabilitative needs has been repeatedly applied over the past 35 years,” Steele wrote in his filing.
Judge Steven O’Neill allowed testimony from five other women during Cosby’s April trial on allegations of sexual assault made by Andrea Constand relating to an incident at his mansion in 2004. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, as Constand has done.
The defense is largely expected to base part of its appeal of Cosby’s conviction on three counts of aggravated indecent assault on the testimony of those women because Cosby was not charged with crimes based on their claims.
“The District Attorney’s latest Motion is another publicity stunt, not supported by ANY existing Pennsylvania law,” Andrew Wyatt, a spokesman for the 81-year-old comedian, wrote in an emailed statement. “We expect to respond to this Motion and present our arguments in Court.”
Cosby’s attorneys have also claimed in court filings that the state’s recently revised sex offender registry law is unconstitutional and should not be applied retroactively.
A Pennsylvania board recommended Cosby be classified as a sexually violent predator, which would require the former TV star to attend at least monthly sex offender counseling — in prison and out — and police to post warning flyers throughout his neighborhood whenever he is freed.
Cosby’s attorneys are challenging the legality of the process used by the board to determine whether someone is considered a sexually violent predator.