The Sarcastic Cynic™

Sarcastic and cynical view of the world.

Bill Cosby loses appeal of sexual assault conviction — December 10, 2019

Bill Cosby loses appeal of sexual assault conviction

https://www.tampabay.com/news/nation-world/2019/12/10/bill-cosby-loses-appeal-of-sexual-assault-conviction/

Don't know if you care about this man anymore, but here's an update.

Cosby, 82, can now ask the state Supreme Court to consider his appeal.

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In this Sept. 24, 2018 file photo Bill Cosby arrives for his sentencing hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. A Pennsylvania appeals court has rejected Cosby’s bid to overturn his sexual assault conviction. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File) [MATT SLOCUM | AP]Bill Cosby lost his bid to overturn his sexual assault conviction Tuesday, as an appeals court upheld the verdict in the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

In its ruling, the Superior Court upheld the right of prosecutors to call other accusers to bolster their case — the same issue that was fought over in pretrial hearings before movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial.

“This decision is a reminder that no one is above the law,” Andrea Constand, the victim in Cosby’s case, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Cosby’s lawyers in his appeal said the suburban Philadelphia 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.

But the Superior Court said Pennsylvania law allows the testimony if it shows Cosby had a “signature” pattern of drugging and molesting women.

“Here, the (prior bad act) evidence established appellant’s unique sexual assault playbook,” the court said, noting that “no two events will ever be identical.”

The court went on to say that the similarities were no accident.

“Not only did the (prior bad act) evidence tend to establish a predictable pattern of criminal sexual behavior unique to appellant, it simultaneously tended to undermine any claim that appellant was unaware of or mistaken about victim’s failure to consent to the sexual contact that formed the basis of the aggravated indecent assault charges,” the panel said in its ruling.

Lawyers for Cosby had argued eight issues on appeal, including the judge’s decision to let prosecutors use portions of a deposition he gave in the accuser’s related civil suit. 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.

The appeals court rejected those arguments and upheld the judge’s classification of Cosby as a sexually violent predator.

Cosby, 82, can now ask the state Supreme Court to consider his appeal.

The long-married Cosby, once beloved as “America’s Dad” for his TV role as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the hugely popular sitcom “The Cosby Show,” has acknowledged having sexual contact with a string of younger women, many of whom came to him for career advice and took alcohol or pills he offered them.

After the ruling, Cosby’s spokesman accused the appeals court of failing to properly review the case and repeated longstanding attacks made by Cosby’s wife and others on the court system.

“We’re not shocked because it shows the world that this isn’t about justice, but this is a political scheme to destroy America’s Dad, however they will not stop us and we will prevail in the State Supreme Court,” spokesman Andrew Wyatt said in a statement. “Mr. Cosby remains hopeful and he stands behind his innocence.”

Cosby has been serving a three- to 10-year prison term for the 2004 encounter at his suburban Philadelphia home, which he deemed consensual.

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 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.

“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.

Judge Steven O’Neill’s decision to let the other accusers testify came after more than 60 women accused Cosby of sexual misconduct. Prosecutors asked to call 19 of them. Superior Court Judge John Bender appeared to agree with O’Neill’s logic in letting some take the stand.

“The reality of it is, he gives them drugs and then he sexually assaults them. And in four out of the five, those were in mentor situations,” Bender said.

Kristen L. Weisenberger, representing Cosby, said one of the women wasn’t even sure she was sexually assaulted. However, prosecutors said, that’s how Cosby planned it.

O’Neill had allowed just one other accuser at Cosby’s first trial in 2017, when the jury deadlocked. Cosby’s lawyers called his later decision to let more women testify arbitrary and prejudicial.

He and his lawyers and agents have suggested that many of the accusers were gold diggers seeking money or fame. He told a news outlet in November that he expects to serve the maximum 10-year sentence if he loses the appeal, because he would never express remorse to the parole board.

Cosby agreed to pay Constand, a former Temple University women’s basketball team manager, about $3.4 million to settle her lawsuit. His insurance company, following his conviction, settled at least nine other defamation lawsuits filed by accusers for undisclosed sums.

Constand, who first went to police about Cosby in 2005, thanked Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele for fighting “tirelessly throughout two trials and the appeals process” for her.

A former professional basketball player turned massage therapist, she is launching a foundation in her native Ontario to help other sexual assault victims with their healing. She is also starting to work with law enforcement groups to help them understand the process that victims go through.

She described herself as “pleased and relieved” the verdict was upheld.

The AP does not typically identify sexual assault victims without their permission, which Constand has granted.

The growing problem with homemade ‘ghost guns’ — December 2, 2019

The growing problem with homemade ‘ghost guns’

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BY LISA MARIE PANE

Associated Press

For a few hundred dollars, tools and some elbow grease, you can make your own rifle or handgun. It’s all perfectly legal – and it can be done without leaving anything behind for the government to trace.

These ‘ghost guns’ have long been popular among hobbyists or gun enthusiasts. But gun control advocates say they are increasingly popping up in crimes, used by people who are prohibited from buying a firearm and are trying to circumvent a background check.

https://tampabaytimes-fl.newsmemory.com/?publink=028668a41_1341205

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“Honor gave the boys their dad for more years,” Michelle Baker — December 3, 2015

“Honor gave the boys their dad for more years,” Michelle Baker

Honor, the PTSD service dog of her late husband, Wade, at their home in Clyde, N.C. “Honor gave the boys their dad for more years,” she says.
Michelle Baker, far right, sits with her sons, clockwise from foreground right, Mason, Kobi, Jack, and Nick, and Honor, the PTSD service dog of her late husband, Wade, at their home in Clyde, N.C. “Honor gave the boys their dad for more years,” she says. Associated Press

Part of the Labrador retriever’s training was to sense when the demons of war had invaded Wade Baker’s dreams. 

“I woke up with Honor standing on my chest, licking my face,” the Gulf War veteran once told an interviewer. He tried to push his service dog away, but Honor persisted.  “He was stopping the nightmare for me,” Baker said. 

And so, when he saw his master lying in the flag-draped casket, Honor pushed through the clutch of weeping family members, reared up and tried to climb in. Unable to comfort Baker, the lanky black dog curled up beneath the coffin. For Baker, the long nightmare was finally over. Yet Honor was still on duty.  Continue reading

Plum Island is for Sale! — October 2, 2013

Plum Island is for Sale!

Plum Island Animal Disease Center

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For Plum Island, see Plum Island (New York).
The Plum Island Animal Disease Center, one of ...
The Plum Island Animal Disease Center, one of the locations listed in Siddiqui’s notes with regard to a “mass casualty” attack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plum Island Animal Disease Center

Plum Island Animal Disease Center of New York (PIADCNY) is a United States federal research facility dedicated to the study of animal diseases. It is part of the DHS Directorate for Science and Technology.

Since 1954, the center has had the goal of protecting America’s livestock from animal diseases. During the Cold War a secret biological weapons program targeting livestock was conducted at the site. This program has been the subject of controversy.

The Sarcastic Cynic™ will put in a bid to purchase the island off the coast of Long Island, New York .  Those who wish to purchase this island with TheSarcasticCynic just wait to see a PayPal icon on this website.  If interested contact the SarcastCynic @ TheSarcasticCynic@gmail.com.

We will accept the island on an as is basis.  We will accept all pathogens and dangers associated with the damages caused by the research done on this property.

Don’t let another property fall into the clutches of any developer.

See the results of such an acquisition.

TRUMP
TRUMP Property at Jones Beach, N.Y.
The god daughter of Aretha Franklin has passed away at 48. — February 11, 2012

The god daughter of Aretha Franklin has passed away at 48.

Whitney Houston passed away today at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  The Associated Press has not released any other details of her death.  Ms Houston was in town for tomorrow’s Grammy’s.  There is speculation about a hotel member having found her in the room and that her death is related to drug abuse.  Her ex husband Bobby Brown has not made a statement.  The 54th Grammy Awards  is planning a tribute for Whitney Houston.

The State of The National Aeronautics and Space Administration — January 6, 2012

The State of The National Aeronautics and Space Administration

 

NASA questions Apollo 13 commander’s sale of list

BY CURT ANDERSON

AP LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER

MIAMI — NASA is questioning whether Apollo 13 commander James Lovell has the right to sell a 70-page checklist from the flight that includes his handwritten calculations that were crucial in guiding the damaged spacecraft back to Earth.

The document was sold by Heritage Auctions in November for more than $388,000, some 15 times its initial list price. The checklist gained great fame as part of a key dramatic scene in the 1995 film “Apollo 13” in which actor Tom Hanks plays Lovell making the calculations.

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