The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is allowing convicted rapist Bill Cosby to appeal his conviction based on two issues, a move that one of his victims tells Delaware Valley Journal “retriggered” painful memories of his attack.
Cosby’s spokesperson, on the other hand, claims the comedian’s verdict was “racially motivated” and he should have been released long ago.
Stacey Pinkerton says she was 21 when “America’s Dad” raped her in 1986 at the height of his fame. Former Playboy Bunny Victoria Valentino says she was attacked in 1969 at age 26. Delaware Valley Journal spoke with both women.
What Pinkerton and Valentino described were well-planned scenarios of drugging and rape, where — despite the 17-years between the attacks — Cosby’s modus operandi was the same. Their stories echo those told by the 60 women who claim the former TV star raped or sexually assaulted them.
The two attended the 2018 criminal trial in a Montgomery County courtroom, where Cosby, now 82, was convicted of aggravated indecent assault against then-Temple University employee Andrea Constand. He’s serving a sentence of three to 10 years.
Both Pinkerton and Valentino say Cosby should stay behind bars and they consider themselves — and the many others Cosby has reportedly sexually assaulted — “sister survivors.”
“I believe he’s a sociopath and he has no conscience,” said Valentino, who was Playboy’s Playmate of the Month in 1963 and was preparing to launch a music career in 1969, when Cosby said he could help her out. Cosby was a frequent visitor to Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion, and she met him through a fellow Bunny.
“I think if the court listens to him I think they will be able to determine very easily that he has no conscience and he shows no remorse and they will deny his appeal,” Valentino, now almost 77, said. “He is a monster, he is probably the most prolific serial rapist of the 20th century and on.”
After being raped, Valentino says she walked away from her career and suffered a long period of severe depression.
Pinkerton, too, abandoned her desire to become a model after she was raped. She was a flight attendant for American Airlines working first class, when she met Cosby who promised he would help her modeling career.
After Cosby’s attack, Pinkerton said she drifted for years before landing in Spain, where she serves as a radio talk show host.
She said when a friend told her of the Cosby appeal: “I felt sick.”
“It’s upsetting, it’s sickening actually, and it retriggers. It makes it all more grueling… because in the first place I didn’t have justice — that [the trial] was justice for Andrea Constand — but I don’t have justice because of the statute of limitations.
“He does not deserve an appeal,” Pinkerton said.
The high court will review whether testimony from five women who were not defendants in Cosby’s criminal sexual assault trial should have been allowed. Pinkerton and Valentino were not among the five.
The court will also decide whether the immunity Cosby’s lawyers say he received for testifying in the civil case is valid. The immunity agreement was never in writing.
Cosby’s lawyers have long argued that a former Montgomery County district attorney promised not to prosecute him for his depositions in the Constand civil trial. When Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele was elected in 2015, he was not aware of an immunity agreement.
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt claims race played a key factor in Cosby’s conviction, blaming the verdict on “the racially motivated District Attorney Kevin Steele and the racially motivated judge Steven T. O’Neill.”
“We’re extremely grateful to the state Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for taking the time to review Mr. Cosby’s appeal and possibly vindicate him or grant him a new trial,” Wyatt told Delaware Valley Journal.
“We truly feel that on the heels of this Black Lives Matter movement — and what we’re seeing in America as it relates to the racial hatred towards black people and colored people in America — that this is a watershed moment for all of us and Mr. Cosby,” Wyatt said. “We are just extremely hopeful that the state Supreme Court will vindicate him, mainly due to those issues that we have been raising for… over six years.”
In April, Cosby’s attorneys sought to have him released over fears that his age and health issues made him susceptible to the coronavirus. The request was denied because Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf had prohibited the release of sexual offenders, despite their personal circumstances.
In a statement, Steele said: “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has narrowed the issues on appeal, limiting them to prior bad acts and the sovereign edict. We look forward to briefing and arguing these issues and remain confident in the Trial Court and Superior Court’s previous decisions.”
Constand responded to the news via Twitter, saying that while everyone deserves their day in court, “if anyone’s cries matter most right now, it’s the women who have lifted their voices and selflessly put themselves in harm’s way, such as the prior bad act witnesses in my case. They are the true heroes.”
“I have no doubt that the Supreme Court of PA will do the right thing and not allow Cosby’s wealth, fame and fortune to win an escape from his maleficent, malignant and downright criminal past and seek justice at all costs.”