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A Pennsylvania appeals court rejected Bill Cosby's bid to overturn his sexual assault conviction Tuesday over the trial judge's decision to let five other accusers testify.
The Superior Court ruling was being closely watched because Cosby was the first celebrity tried and convicted in the #MeToo era.
Issue - Hearings - Movie - Mogul - Harvey
The same issue has been hard-fought in pretrial hearings before movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial.
In his appeal, Cosby's lawyers said the trial judge had improperly allowed the five women to testify at last year's retrial although he'd let just one woman testify at the first trial in 2017.
Superior - Court - Pennsylvania - Law - Testimony
But the Superior Court said Pennsylvania law allows the testimony if it shows Cosby had a 'signature' pattern of drugging and molesting women.
He can now ask the state Supreme Court to consider his appeal.
Cosby - Prison - Term - Encounter - Philadelphia
Cosby, 82, has been serving a three- to 10-year prison term for the 2004 encounter at his suburban Philadelphia home, which he deemed consensual.
His lawyers also argued that he had a binding promise from a former prosecutor that he would never be charged in the case and could testify freely at a deposition in accuser Andrea Constand's related lawsuit.
Decade - Judge - Portions - Deposition - Request
He was arrested a decade later, after a federal judge unsealed portions of the deposition at the request of The Associated Press and new prosecutors reopened the criminal case.
The three-judge Superior Court panel, in arguments in Harrisburg in August, asked why Cosby's lawyers didn't get a written immunity agreement and have it approved by a judge, instead of relying on an oral promise.
Operation - Budget - Superior - Court - Judge
'This is not a low-budget operation we were operating here. They had an unlimited budget,' said Superior Court Judge John T. Bender, who questioned whether any court would have approved the deal.
O'Neill's decision to let five other accusers testify came after more than 60...
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