We did not see this coming.
Pennsylvania’s highest court has overturned Bill Cosby’s previous ruling, releasing him from prison Wednesday and dropping his sexual assault charges!
The actor — who was indicted back in 2015 over allegations he drugged and sexually assaulted Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004 — has already been in jail for two out of a three-to-10 year sentence. But soon he’ll be walking away a free man.
This shocking turn of events comes after Cosby and his lawyer appealed the 2018 sexual assault charges. After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear why the legal team believed the case should be overturned, they’ve now agreed with the two points addressed.
First, the appeal argued it was wrong for the judge to allow “prior bad acts” of Cosby’s past to get interwoven with the 2004 incident. The attorney stated it was unjust for (reportedly) consensual sexual encounters with women in the ‘70s and ’80s, in which Bill offered them alcohol or drugs before sex, to be brought forth in the trial. In December, his lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, argued this caused a problem because:
“The presumption of innocence just didn’t exist for him.”
At the time, a judge only allowed one accuser to testify in the trial, but the jury deadlocked (meaning they couldn’t agree). So, in a retrial, five other accusers came forward to discuss their experiences with the A-lister prior to the incident at hand. We’ve all heard their stories at this point — and how similar they all are.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court now says that decision tainted the fair trial, even though a lower appeals court insisted it was appropriate to demonstrate Cosby’s pattern of drugging and molesting women.
The second argument stated that a prior District Attorney, Montgomery County’s Bruce Castor, had promised the comedian he would not be criminally prosecuted if he testified in a civil lawsuit Constand filed against The Cosby Show alum in 2005. So he testified and the lawsuit was settled for more than $3 million the next year. But in 2015, Castor’s successor charged Cosby for three counts of sexual assault. In a statement obtained by CNN, the Cosby family’s representative, Andrew Wyatt, reflected:
“Mr. Cosby was originally given a deal by Bruce Castor in which he was granted immunity. He gave up his fifth amendment rights in hopes that he would get back to work, back to life. And he always showed up for any legal matters and questions on his own accord. Charges should never have been brought against Mr. Cosby.”
This also comes a month after Cosby was denied parole in May because he would not participate in sex offender programs. He refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing in his past, as well, even if it meant having to serve the full 10 years of his sentence.
This is a truly shocking outcome in a high-profile trial that saw the downfall of “America’s Dad” during the start of the #MeToo movement. And what a devastating blow for all sexual assault survivors to see someone with so many allegations walk free today…
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