Popular comedian, Bill Cosby who was convicted and sentenced in 2018 on charges of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his home in 2004, is now a free man.
The court said it found the prosecutor on the case had violated an agreement made with a different prosecutor that prevented Cosby from being charged.
“When an unconditional charging decision is made publicly and with the intent to induce action and reliance by the defendant, and when the defendant does so to his detriment (and in some instances upon the advice of counsel), denying the defendant the benefit of that decision is an affront to fundamental fairness,” according to the high court opinion authored by Justice David Wecht.
“For these reasons, Cosby’s convictions and judgment of sentence are vacated, and he is discharged.”
Cosby, 83, flashed the V-for-victory sign to a helicopter overhead as he trudged into his suburban Philadelphia home after serving nearly three years of a three- to 10-year sentence.
The former “Cosby Show” star, who was the first celebrity tried and convicted in the #MeToo era, had no comment as he arrived. He just smiled and nodded later at a news conference outside.
Cosby’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said: “We are thrilled to have Mr. Cosby home.”
“He served three years of an unjust sentence and he did it with dignity and principle,” she added.
“I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence,” Cosby later tweeted.
I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence.
Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law. #BillCosby pic.twitter.com/bxELvJWDe5
— Bill Cosby (@BillCosby) June 30, 2021
Back in 2019, Cosby reportedly said he has “no remorse” and feels he is like a “political prisoner.”
“I was declared Not Guilty in 2005 by the Commonwealth—never charged,” said Cosby in a statement. “However, a low-life District Attorney and a corrupt Judge needed me Guilty now. Not for justice, but for their political aspirations.”
Reacting to the supreme court ruling, Andrea Constand and her attorneys said in statement that Cosby’s acquittal is disappointing and could discourage other survivors of sexual assault from coming forward.
“Today’s majority decision regarding Bill Cosby is not only disappointing but of concern in that it may discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system from reporting or participating in the prosecution of the assailant or may force a victim to choose between filing either a criminal or civil action,” the statement said.
The statement added: “Once again, we remain grateful to those women who came forward to tell their stories, to DA Kevin Steele and the excellent prosecutors who achieve a conviction at trial, despite the ultimate outcome which resulted from a procedural technicality, and we urge all victims to have their voices heard.”