Bill Cosby to be released from prison after Pennsylvania’s highest court tosses sex assault conviction

Wednesday - 30/06/2021 13:00
Pennsylvania’s highest court has agreed to vacate the actor’s sex assault conviction over an immunity agreement he once made with a prosecutor, granting an appeal that could set him free as early as Wednesday.

Bill Cosby will be released from prison today after Pennsylvania's Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction. 

The actor was two years into a 10 year sentence at a prison near Philadelphia for sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. He is 83 and many thought he might die in prison. 

But on Wednesday, the Supreme Court overturned his conviction, saying that the testimony of five other women at his retrial tainted the jury. 

Cosby was first charged in 2015 but a mistrial was declared the first time around when the jury deadlocked. At that trial, only one other accuser was allowed to testify. At his retrial, the five others testified.      

It's unclear whether or not prosecutors plan to pursue a third conviction. 

Cosby was the first celebrity brought down by sexual misconduct claims in the #MeToo era. 

His case was unique in that multiple women publicly claimed that he'd abused them or harassed them but their allegations fell outside of statute of limitations. 

Constand's claims were the only ones that could legally be prosecuted. 

Many of his critics considered it justice for all of his alleged victims when he was jailed for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Constand. 

Cosby had always denied it and he vowed to serve the full ten year sentence rather than anything shorter, because it would have required him to express remorse. 

Pennsylvania's highest court overturned Bill Cosby's sex assault conviction Wednesday after finding an agreement with a previous prosecutor prevented him from being charged in the case 

In their ruling, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justices voiced concern not just about sex assault cases, but what they saw as the judiciary´s increasing tendency to allow testimony that crosses the line into character attacks. The law allows the testimony only in limited cases, including to show a crime pattern so specific it serves to identify the perpetrator.

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 Keywords: Bill Cosby

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