Bill Cosby, who had been found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against a woman and was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison in 2018, was released from prison today after the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court overturned his conviction.
The court’s decision to overturn the conviction stems from an agreement Cosby made with then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor in 2005, an agreement that essentially granted Cosby immunity from criminal prosecution as long as he participated in a deposition. Just over a year ago, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Cosby could appeal his 2018 conviction, and today the court ruled that the deposition Cosby participated in was used against him and he had been verbally promised he would not be charged, meaning his conviction should be overturned and he be released from prison.
After being released from prison earlier in the afternoon, Cosby, 83, reportedly was set to head to his home in Pennsylvania and “celebrate” with his family. Andrew Wyatt, Cosby’s press representative, released a brief statement from Cosby’s family:
“I want to thank the Supreme Court who saw the light and saw the truth.”
Current Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, who charged Bill Cosby in 2015 days before the statute of limitations were set to expire, said in a statement today that Cosby’s release did not prove he is innocent of the crimes for which he was initially convicted.
“He was found guilty by a jury and now goes free on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime,” Steele said. “I want to commend Cosby’s victim, Andrea Constand, for her bravery in coming forward and remaining steadfast throughout this long ordeal, as well as all of the other women who have shared similar experiences.”
“My hope is that this decision will not dampen the reporting of sexual assaults by victims. Prosecutors in my office will continue to follow the evidence wherever and to whomever it leads. We still believe that no one is above the law-including those who are rich, famous and powerful,” Steele said.