The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has yet to rule on whether Bill Cosby can be released from prison or be retried on sex-crime allegations, but the Parole Board of the Keystone State has stated its position.
In a letter sent earlier this month, the Board told the designated sexually violent predator, “Following an interview with you and a review of your file, and having considered all matters required pursuant to the parole board, in the exercise of its discretion, has determined at this time that: you are denied parole/reparole” (read it here).
The state board’s decision to keep the 83-year-old legally blind actor known as “America’s Dad” behind prison is based on many factors. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ negative recommendation, as well as his refusal to engage in, let alone complete, a mandatory treatment programme for “sex offenders and violence prevention,” didn’t assist Cosby’s case.
The board also stated that Cosby’s reluctance to participate in the therapy programme effectively stymies any further parole aspirations for him. That means he’ll likely be imprisoned for a long time unless Pennsylvania’s highest court rules in his favour.
After being found guilty in his second trial for the 2004 rape of former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, The Cosby Show creator-star was sentenced to no less than three years in prison and no more than ten years in prison in September 2018.
Cosby, who has been incarcerated at Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institution at Phoenix for nearly three years, has fought his conviction almost since the day he was convicted. The disgraced comedian finally scored a win of sorts in June 2020 when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear his rape conviction appeal. After coming up short time and time again and even failing to get early release due to the coronavirus, the disgraced comedian finally scored a win of sorts when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear his appeal on the rape conviction.
The 75-minute appeal hearing, held virtually in December due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and with Cosby absent, focused on prior testimony from five other women during the second trial, 5th Amendment rights, and, for better or worse, a 2005 press release from the previous DA of Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County.
The appeal has yet to be decided by the seven-judge Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Today, Cosby’s representatives were less circumspect.
“The news that Actor and Comedian Bill Cosby’s parole has been ‘denied’ by the Pennsylvania State Parole Board comes as no surprise to Mr. Cosby, his family, friends, and/or his legal team,” spokesperson Andrew Wyatt said Thursday, after the decision was made public on May 11.
“Mr. Cosby informed us that representatives of the Pennsylvania State Parole Board had met with him in recent months and emphatically stated, ‘if he did not participate in SVP [Sexually Violent Predator] courses, his parole would be denied,’” the Purpose PR head continued of his longstanding client. “Mr. Cosby has adamantly maintained his innocence and continues to dispute all charges levelled against him as false, notwithstanding the lack of evidence. Mr. Cosby is confident that the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court will issue a decision vacateing his conviction or ordering a new trial for him.”
Despite admitting to giving Constand several Benadryl pills on the night of the alleged assault in his Philadelphia-area mansion the year before in 2005 depositions, Cosby has maintained that the encounter was consensual throughout his 2015 arrest, various probes, two trials, and the 2018 sentencing hearing.
More than 60 women have claimed that Cosby drugged and assaulted them without their consent over the years, using a combination of medications and booze, as Constand testified. Unlike many of those women, some of whom were present at the two trials and sentencing hearing in the fall of 2018, Cosby paid Constand millions in a once-secret settlement roughly ten years before the criminal case was initiated six years ago by current Montgomery County DA Kevin Steele.