Duquesne University School of Law

NBCNews.com interviews Duquesne Law's criminal justice director

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

NBCNews.com this week extensively quoted Assoc. Dean Wes Oliver in a feature about whether 13 sex-abuse accusers will be allowed to testify against Bill Cosby at a criminal trial this summer.

Prosecutors say the women were drugged and molested by Cosby and show a pattern of behavior. The actor’s attorneys have cast doubt on the women's accounts.

Crosby has been charged with drugging and sexually attacking Andrea Constand in 2004.

Oliver, who directs Duquesne Law’s criminal justice program, discussed the “lustful disposition rule," which some states and the federal government use to allow accusations of prior sexual misconduct to be used against someone charged with a sex crime. Oliver outlined how Pennsylvania instead evaluates whether prior sexual misdeeds show a defendant has a "common plan" or strategy in committing sexual impropriety, and therefore the court might allow the multiple accusations to be admitted.

Oliver said courts in all states, including Pennsylvania, are more likely to admit prior acts than keep them out of a sex-crime case.

Read the NBCNews.com article, “Fireworks erupt at Bill Cosby’s sexual assault hearing.”

 

Faculty Referenced In Article

Wesley M. Oliver, J.D., LL.M., J.S.D.Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship, Criminal Justice Program Director, and Professor of Law