Just when you thought it was over for famed comedian Bill Cosby, a new court decision will make him a free man again.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on just overturned Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction on Wednesday June 30th. This overturn sets up Mr. Cosby’s release from prison later in the day.
According to the Associated Press, the state’s highest court tossed the 83-year-old comedian’s conviction as a result of an agreement he had with a prior prosecutor that would have prevented Cosby from being criminally charged in the case.
Cosby has already served two years into his three-to-10-year prison term.
The Supreme Court’s opinion also disagreed with the trial court judge’s decision to let prosecutors call five other accusers in addition to Andrea Constand, the Temple University employee whose allegation was the basis of the criminal case.
Constand, a former professional basketball player who worked at his alma mater, went to police a year later. The other accusers knew Cosby through the entertainment industry and did not go to police.
The once-beloved Cosby was known at one time as “America’s Dad.” He was initially charged in 2015 and then convicted of drugging and molesting the Temple University employee Constand at his suburban estate in 2004. This happened just days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.
The trial judge had allowed just one other accuser to testify at Cosby’s first trial, when the jury deadlocked. However, he then allowed five other accusers to testify at the retrial about their experiences with Cosby in the 1980s.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that testimony tainted the trial, even though a lower appeals court had found it appropriate to show a signature pattern of drugging and molesting women.
In Cosby’s case, one of his appellate lawyers said prosecutors put on vague evidence about the uncharged conduct, including Cosby’s own recollections in his deposition about giving women alcohol or quaaludes before sexual encounters.
“The presumption of innocence just didn’t exist for him,” Jennifer Bonjean, the lawyer, argued to the court in December.
In May, Cosby was denied paroled after refusing to