Bill Cosby has been released from prison after a Pennsylvania appeals court vacated his 2018 conviction. He had served two years of his 3 to 10-year sentence for sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.
“He must be discharged, and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred,” stated the judges presiding over the case. “We do not dispute that this remedy is both severe and rare. But it is warranted here, indeed compelled”
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the 83 year old had been denied a fair trial in 2018 due to the overall environment that the verdict came under.
The heat of the #MeToo movement was stronger than ever, with allegations against Harvey Weinstein coming out at the same time. Mr. Cosby’s lawyers claimed that the judgement had been ruled out during a period of “public panic,” and therefore influenced the outcome.
In today’s ruling, the judges presiding over the appeal from Cosby’s representatives ruled that there was a “vast” violation of Cosby’s due process rights during the prior trial.
“We are thrilled with the Supreme Court’s decision,” said Brian W. Perry, a lawyer representing Mr. Cosby. “To be honest with you, we all believed, collectively, that this is how the case would end. We did not think he was treated fairly and fortunately the Supreme Court agreed.”
It was also stated that a “non-prosecution agreement” had been struck, therefore barring Mr. Cosby from being charged in this case. The prior agreement had been given to Mr. Cosby during the original 2005 investigation and trial in the Constand v. Cosby case.
Patricia Steuer, 65, Accused Bill Cosby of drugging and raping her in 1978 and 1980 was left in shock by the court’s decision to reverse their conviction.
“I’m feeling sad because this is absolutely a perceived loss on my part,” said Steuer. “I’m wondering what the 43-year ordeal that I went through was supposed to be about.”
Sources: NYTIMES.COM, CNN.COM, GLOBALNEWS.CA, ABCNEWS.GO.COM