PHILADELPHIA (CelebrityAccess) — In a surprising turn of events, Comedian Bill Cosby has been released from prison after his 2018 sexual assault conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Cosby, who is 83, served two years of his 3-10 year sentence after he was found guilty of drugging and raping Temple University sports administrator Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home in 2004.
According to the Associated Press, Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned his conviction in a split decision after ruling that the District Attorney Kevin Steele, who brought the criminal case against Cosby in 2015, was bound by a previous prosecutor’s pledge not to charge Cosby for the crime.
The purported agreement came as part of a civil lawsuit brought by his alleged victims in 2005 during which Cosby was deposed. During the deposition, Cosby was forced to provide testimony after the District Attorney at the time said he would not be criminally charged but there is no evidence in writing of such an agreement, the Associated Press reported.
Cosby’s statements in the deposition were later used as evidence against him by District Attorney Kevin Steele, who made the decision to charge Cosby just days before the statute of limitations put the alleged 2004 sexual assault out of reach of the court.
In writing the decision for the split court, Justice David Wecht said Cosby’s arrest was “an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was forgone for more than a decade.”
While the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision was not based on the merits of the case, or Cosby’s alleged guilt, it does bar further prosecution in the matter.
After news of Cosby’s release broke, Lisa Bloom, an attorney representing three of his accusers said her clients are ‘disgusted’ by the turn of events.
The 3 Bill Cosby accusers I represent and I are disgusted that he is a free man today.
He is not released because he is innocent.
He is released because a prosecutor promised him years ago that he would not be brought to justice, without even making a deal for him to do time.
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) June 30, 2021