Cosby lawyers ask appeals court to toss #MeToo conviction

Headline Legal News

A Pennsylvania appeals court on Monday questioned why actor Bill Cosby never got a supposed non-prosecution agreement in writing as his lawyers asked the panel to overturn his sexual assault conviction.

Cosby, 82, is serving a three- to 10-year prison term for drugging and molesting a woman at his home in what became the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

The three-judge panel asked why Cosby’s top-shelf lawyers didn’t follow the norm and get an immunity agreement in writing, and approved by a judge, when accuser Andrea Constand first came forward in 2005.

“This is not a low-budget operation. ... They had an unlimited budget,” said Superior Court Judge John T. Bender. “Could it be they knew this was something the trial court would never have allowed?”

Cosby’s lawyers have long argued that he relied on the promise before giving testimony in Constand’s 2005 lawsuit that proved incriminating when it was unsealed a decade later.

Judge Carolyn Nichols echoed Bender’s point, asking, “how can the elected district attorney bind that office in perpetuity?”

Cosby’s lawyers also attacked Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill’s decision to let five other accusers testify when Cosby went on trial last year, after more than 60 accusers came forward and his deposition was unsealed. Prosecutors said they chose women whose accounts showed that Cosby had a “signature” crime pattern. Bender seemed to agree, interrupting defense arguments that their stories had significant differences.

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USCIS to Continue Implementing New Policy Memorandum on Notices to Appear

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is continuing to implement the June 28, 2018, Policy Memorandum (PM), Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens (PDF, 140 KB).

USCIS may issue NTAs as described below based on denials of I-914/I-914A, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status; I-918/I-918A, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status; I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Violence Against Women Act self-petitions and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status petitions); I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions when the beneficiary is present in the US; I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant; and I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (with the underlying form types listed above).

If applicants, beneficiaries, or self-petitioners who are denied are no longer in a period of authorized stay and do not depart the United States, USCIS may issue an NTA. USCIS will continue to send denial letters for these applications and petitions to ensure adequate notice regarding period of authorized stay, checking travel compliance, or validating departure from the United States.