Bill Cosby released from prison
Sexual assault conviction is overturned after court finds prosecutor struck a deal with Cosby's attorneys in 2005.
Veteran US comedian Bill Cosby has been released from prison after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction.
Cosby, 83, had served more than two years of a potential three-to-10-year sentence following his 2018 conviction over sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in his home in 2004, after giving her unidentified pills.
The court found that a previous prosecutor had made a deal with Cosby not to charge him in the case.
“What we saw today was justice — justice for all Americans,” his spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, said.
“Mr Cosby’s conviction being overturned is for the world and all Americans who have been treated unfairly by the judicial system.”
In a statement, Andrea Constand and her attorneys said they were not only disappointed in the ruling, but concerned it could dissuade other victims from seeking justice.
“Once again, we remain grateful to those women who came forward to tell their stories,” they said.
She was one of 60 women who had accused “America’s Dad” of sexual assault over a period of decades.
However the Pennsylvania court’s majority found that a state prosecutor, Bruce Castor, struck a deal with his attorneys in 2005 not to bring criminal charges.
“In light of these circumstances, the subsequent decision by successor DAs to prosecute Cosby violated Cosby’s due process rights,” Justice David Wecht wrote.
“There is only one remedy that can completely restore Cosby to the status quo ante. He must be discharged, and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred.”
“I am furious to hear this news,” actor Amber Tamblyn, a founder of advocacy group for victims of sexual assault, Time’s Up.
“I personally know women who this man drugged and raped while unconscious. Shame on the court and this decision.”