The decision to toss Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction could lead to similar #MeToo cases getting a “closer look,” a defense attorney told The Post on Wednesday.
The decision by Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court centered on an agreement he made with prosecutors decades ago that he would not face criminal charges for allegedly drugging and raping Andrea Constand in 2004.
The 79-page ruling touched upon the five witnesses in Cosby’s retrial who told jurors that the comedian drugged and assaulted them — so-called “prior bad act” testimony that’s been relied up on in cases such as Harvey Weinstein’s in New York.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court didn’t rule on whether use of those five witnesses was proper.
But Duncan Levin, who represented Seagram’s heiress and convicted Nxivm sex cult bankroller Clare Bronfman, said the Cosby decision could lead to other convictions getting thrown out.
“Evidence of prior bad acts is allowed to come into evidence in certain criminal cases, but unfounded character attacks should never be permitted,” said Levin.
“There is sometimes a fine line between the two, and today’s decision will certainly cause courts to be more mindful of that distinction,” he added. “A criminal trial is never the place for any unsupported allegations. This is a ruling that will likely result in similar convictions getting a closer look and possibly even getting overturned.”
Meanwhile, Neama Rahmani, president of the Los Angeles-based West Coast Trial Lawyers, called the Cosby ruling “a huge blow for the #MeToo movement.”
“Sexual assault is already one of the lowest-reported crimes, and now you have someone who admittedly drugged and raped a woman, multiple women, and some of these women had to testify at not one but two trials, and now you’re going to have someone who is going to walk out of prison a free man,” Rahmani said.
“It”s a huge step back for victims of sexual assault.”
Cosby was released from prison Wednesday just hours after the ruling was handed down in Pennsylvania.