Last week, prosecutors filed criminal charges against Bill Cosby just days before the statute of limitations was set to expire. Like many other sexual assault cases, the physical evidence is limited; instead, both sides must rely on a heavy amount of circumstantial evidence to prove their respective cases. Perhaps the most powerful piece of evidence which could be used is testimony from some of the dozens of women who have publicly stepped forward with their own accusations. But will the court allow this?
Our Modesto criminal defense lawyer can provide the tough representation you need. Call (209) 326-1533 to learn how we can help.
Prior Bad Acts Evidence
In a criminal trial, prosecutors are typically barred from introducing evidence that points to the defendant’s character or prior actions. For example, if a person is accused of DUI, prosecutors typically may not use a prior shoplifting conviction as proof that the defendant is a bad person or a career criminal.
However, there is a key exception to this rule, which allows prosecutors to introduce evidence which attests to the defendant’s “criminal signature;” in the DUI example above, a history of drunken criminal behavior may be allowed to demonstrate a pattern. In the Cosby case, prosecutors would like to use testimony from other alleged victims to show consistencies in the purported assaults and strengthen their case.
On Trial Twice?
Cosby’s lawyers are likely challenging this testimony on several grounds. Since Cosby has not been convicted of any sexual assault, the defense may claim that this testimony is not substantiated by any physical evidence, and may be a byproduct of the high-profile nature of this case. Alternatively, the specific nature of the testimony could be deemed too prejudicial, especially when presented as evidence, and could sway the jury without adding any real value to the prosecution’s case.
A Key To The Case
Since the alleged sexual assault took place more than a decade ago, and given the lack of substantial forensic evidence, the testimony of other victims may play a huge role in the outcome of this case; we will soon learn whether or not the judge will allow such evidence.
If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, don’t go it alone. At the Law Offices of Mark W. Girdner, our Modesto criminal defense attorney is a former prosecutor who now fights for the rights of the criminally accused. When you retain our firm, we’ll put this inside knowledge to work for you, and will aggressively defend your rights and freedom.
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