After overturning Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction on Wednesday, the 83-year-old comic will be released later in the day, according to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
The state’s top court overturned Cosby’s conviction as a consequence of an arrangement he reached with a previous prosecutor that would have precluded Cosby from being charged with a crime in the case if he had been prosecuted.
According to court documents, the verdict prevents the case from being retried.
Cosby has served two years of a three-to-ten-year jail sentence.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court,” said Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt, who traveled to the prison to pick up Cosby. This is what we have been fighting for, and this is justice for all people, especially for African-Americans.
“This is the justice for which Mr. Cosby has fought for years. According to NBC News, Wyatt stated that they had “seen the light.” “He was offered a bargain in exchange for immunity. He should not have been charged in the first place.”
Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee whose complaint formed the basis of the criminal case against Cosby, was allegedly drugged and molest at Cosby’s residence in 2004, according to authorities. He was charged with the alleged attack in 2015 and arrested only a few days before the 12-year statute of limitations ran out on the case. In 2018, he was found guilty and sentenced.
The previous Montgomery County prosecutor, Bruce Castor, signed a written agreement stating that he would not bring criminal charges against Cosby in the Constand case. Cosby agreed to testify in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005, and Castor said that while he was district attorney, he pledged not to press criminal charges against the comedian if he agreed to cooperate with the litigation.
After conducting his own research, Castor concluded that the prosecution would have difficulty correlating forensic evidence in the absence of Cosby confessing to the alleged charges.
It was determined by D.A. Castor that the Commonwealth would decline to prosecute Cosby for the incident involving Constand in order to provide Cosby with the opportunity to testify in a subsequent civil action under penalty of perjury and without the benefit of his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, according to the court document.
As part of the civil claim, Cosby provided testimony over the course of four days of depositions by Constand’s attorneys, and the case was eventually settled for more than $3 million in 2006.
Deputy District Attorney Kevin Steele, who took over for Castor as the county’s district attorney in 2015, filed the criminal charges that ended in Cosby’s incarceration. Former President Donald Trump was represented by Castor at his second impeachment trial, which was held in 2017.
In addition, the highest court expressed dissatisfaction with the decision of the trial court judge to allow prosecutors to summon five additional accusers in addition to Constand.
When Cosby went on trial for the first time, the trial judge initially allowed only one other accuser to testify against him. However, after the jury was unable to reach a decision, the judge granted permission for five additional accusers to testify at Cosby’s retrial.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that this testimony tainted the trial, despite the fact that the lower appeals court had determined that it was appropriate to demonstrate a pattern of behavior.
As a result of its overturning the previous ruling based on an agreement with a former prosecutor that kept Cosby from being charged criminally in the case, the court did not review the admissibility of the five more accusers in the case.
“Having established that Cosby has been subjected to a violation of due process, we must determine what remedy he is entitled to,” the court statement added.