Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction has been overturned by the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court. The 83-year-old comedian is now set to be released from prison and exempt from further prosecution.
In short, court documents detail that the case was overturned due to technicalities — not because Cosby is innocent of the sexual assault accusations made against him by Andrea Constand.
“The Supreme Court reviewed two aspects of the case that Cosby’s lawyers challenged. The first involved the judge’s decision to let prosecutors call five other accusers in addition to Andrea Constand,” CNBC reports. “The Supreme Court also reviewed Cosby’s argument that he had an agreement with a former prosecutor that he would never be charged.”
Constand claimed that in 2004 Cosby had drugged and molested her. She filed her charges against him in 2015 with 12 days to spare before the statute of limitations on her accusations expired. While the first trial ended in a hung jury, Cosby was later convicted of the charges in 2018 after a second trial.
The 83-year-old served two out of the three-10 year sentence he received at a state prison near Philidelphia. Cosby vowed to serve the full 10-year sentence instead of offering any remorse over his encounter with Constand.
The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court’s latest ruling bans a retrial and any further prosecution against the comedian regarding the case.
If you’re interested, the full verdict can be read here.
In addition to Constand, around 60 accusers publicly claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Cosby. Formerly regarded as “America’s Dad,” press around the claims and trial helped bring attention to movements such as 2017’s #MeTooMoveement and #TimesUp. Understandably, many feel the overturn is a grave injustice, and quite frankly a slap in the face to sexual assault survivors who come forward with charges against their attackers and to those who haven’t found the courage to speak out.