Bill Cosby loses appeal of sexual assault conviction

Bill Cosby (C) walks through the Montgomery County Courthouse
Bill Cosby (C) walks through the Montgomery County Courthouse with his publicist, Andrew Wyatt, after being found guilty on all counts in his sexual assault retrial in Norristown, Penn.
Mark Makela | Getty Images 2018

Bill Cosby will remain in prison for sexual assault, after the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed his conviction for three counts of aggravated indecent assault Tuesday. Cosby is currently serving a sentence of 3-10 years for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home outside Philadelphia in 2004.

A jury found Cosby guilty in April of 2018; he was sentenced in September of that year. During the trial, Constand, who was working for the women's basketball team at Temple University when she met the famous entertainer, testified that while Cosby had initially been a mentor to her, he became a sexual predator who gave her drugs before assaulting her.

More than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct. During the trial, the court heard from five witnesses — Heidi Thomas, Chelan Lasha, Janice Baker-Kinney, Janice Dickinson, and Maud Lise-Lotte Lublin — who said they had encounters with Cosby that were very similar to Constand's, as they accused Cosby of drugging them and assaulting them. Cosby sought to overturn his conviction and prison sentence on a number of legal points, asking the Superior Court to review questions such as:

  • Whether the lower court should have allowed the five women to testify;

  • Whether the complaint should have been dismissed based on a 2005 agreement with a prosecutor;

  • Whether details from Cosby's deposition about his possession and distribution of Quaaludes to women in the 1970s should have been allowed;

The Superior Court rejected Cosby's assertions, laying out its reasoning in a 94-page opinion that backed the lower court's handling of the case, from the decision to allow evidence of prior bad acts to the way the judge impaneled and instructed the jury.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.