After nearly 3 years behind bars, comedian/actor Bill Cosby is a free man after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction Wednesday. The court said a prosecutor’s decade-old decision not to charge Cosby in the case encouraged him to speak freely in a lawsuit — and that testimony was key in his conviction years later by another prosecutor. Cosby was found guilty in 2018 on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually-assaulting a woman in 2004, and was serving a 3 to 10-year sentence. During Cosby’s trial, Andrea Constand and five other women testified that he had engaged in a similar pattern of behavior. Constand first reported her story to then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor in 2005, but Castor declined to prosecute Cosby. When Kevin Steele took over District Attorney there, he filed charges against Cosby in 2015, arresting him days before the statute of limitations expired. Cosby’s defense denied the accusations, as well as similar allegations made against him by more than 60 women.
The court also said Cosby can’t be retried on the same charges. Cosby released a statement: “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.”
His former TV spouse, Phylicia Rashad, tweeted support: