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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has declined to take up another appeal by Bill Cosby in his criminal case.
The justices denied Cosby’s petition for allowance of appeal Wednesday, ending the comedian’s bid to revive a second petition for writ of habeas corpus challenging the state’s sexual assault case against him.
Cosby had argued that during his preliminary hearing he was denied his due process right to confront his accuser, Andrea Constand, who was not called to testify. Cosby sought dismissal of the criminal charges against him, or alternatively a new preliminary hearing at which Constand would testify.
Cosby is facing felony charges for allegedly sexually assaulting Constand at his home in 2004. His trial is set to begin June 5.
Following a hearing in July, Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven T. O’Neill denied Cosby’s habeas corpus motion. He said the prosecutors properly relied on Superior Court precedent in Commonwealth v. Ricker, which says hearsay alone can be used to establish a prima facie case in a preliminary hearing. An appeal in Ricker is pending in the state Supreme Court.
When Cosby appealed the habeas corpus ruling at the Superior Court level, prosecutors filed a motion to quash his appeal. The motion to quash was granted.His latest appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was not Cosby’s first. In June, the justices denied Cosby’s petition for review over the first petition for writ of habeas corpus, which was litigated before Cosby even had a preliminary hearing.
In the first habeas petition, Cosby argued that he could not be prosecuted based on Constand’s allegations, because of a 2005 agreement with the then-district attorney of Montgomery County. O’Neill denied his petition after a two-day hearing.
In a statement, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said, “The Supreme Court ruling allows us to clear another hurdle, and we’re headed to trial.”
Cosby’s attorney, Brian J. McMonagle, declined to comment on the Supreme Court’s ruling.