Montgomery County

Bill Cosby Denied Parole By Pa. After Failing to Complete ‘Institutional Programs'

The disgraced comedian would have been eligible for release from state prison later this year after serving three years of a three-to-10 year sentence for sexual assault.

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Bill Cosby will not be released on parole later this year, the Pennsylvania Parole Board ruled earlier this month, in part because he failed to participate in and complete a treatment program for sexual offenders.

The May 11 ruling was not publicly released until Thursday, and a spokesman for Cosby said the denial "is not a surprise" to the disgraced former comedian.

It is not clear when Cosby, now 83, will next be eligible for parole. His spokesman did not respond to a question about Cosby's eligibility.

Cosby is imprisoned at SCI Phoenix in Montgomery County, about 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia. In 2018, a jury convicted him of drugging and sexually assaulting former friend and Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

His parole was denied for three reasons, according to the May 11 parole board ruling:

  • Failure to participate in and complete a treatment program for convicted sex offenders
  • Negative recommendation from the state Department of Corrections
  • Failure to develop a parole release plan

The ruling said the board will review his eligibility again after his next interview. No date was given for that.

Cosby's spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, said in a statement that the former comedian and his family are hopeful that an appeal of his conviction currently being considered by the state Supreme Court will overturn the conviction. Wyatt also said the parole denial was "expected."

"It was brought to our attention by Mr. Cosby that over the past months, members of the PA State Parole Board had met with him and empathically stated, 'if he did not participate in SVP [Sexually Violent Predator] courses that his parole would be denied,'" Wyatt wrote in an email. "Mr. Cosby has vehemently proclaimed his innocence and continues to deny all allegations made against him, as being false, without the sheer evidence of any proof."

Cosby "continues to remain hopeful that the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court will issue an opinion to vacate his conviction or warrant him a new trial," Wyatt added.

There is no date by which the Supreme Court has said it will issue a ruling on the Cosby appeal.

The Supreme Court has agreed to review two aspects of the case, including the judge's decision to let prosecutors call the other accusers to testify about long-ago encounters with the once-powerful actor and comedian. Cosby’s lawyers have long complained the testimony is remote and unreliable.

The court will also consider, as it weighs the scope of the testimony allowed, whether the jury should have heard evidence that Cosby had given quaaludes to women in the past.

Secondly, the court will examine Cosby's argument that he had an agreement with a former prosecutor that he would never be charged in the case. Cosby has said he relied on that agreement before agreeing to testify in the trial accuser's lawsuit.

Previous reporting by The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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