Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction Wednesday
after finding an agreement with a previous prosecutor prevented him from being
charged in the case.
Bill Cosby, 83 flashed a peace sign to news crews on Wednesday as he arrived home after
being released from prison in Pennsylvania, hours after the state’s Supreme Court
overturned his sexual assault conviction because a former prosecutor promised him that
he wouldn’t be charged in 2005 and lulled him into incriminating himself – a decision
that has ‘shocked and disgusted’ the disgraced comedian’s accusers.
Bill Cosby was jailed in 2018 for sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.
She had gone to the police in 2005 but the then Montgomery County DA Bruce Castor –
who went on to become one of Trump’s impeachment lawyers – said publicly he was not
going to pursue charges. Constand sued Cosby and in a civil deposition, he admitted
using Quaaludes on women to get them to have sex with him. Over the next ten years,
multiple women made claims against him publicly and with the police.
In 2015, a new Montgomery County DA charged him, using the remarks he made in the
2005 deposition as part of the evidence against him. Cosby was convicted in 2018 and he
appealed it, claiming he didn’t get a chance at a fair trial because the judge allowed five
women to testify as ‘bad act’ witnesses even though they had nothing to do with the case.
Their allegations weren’t being prosecuted, but they all told stories of how he’d allegedly
assaulted them in the 80s. Cosby claimed that it led the jury to find him guilty of
assaulting Constand unfairly and that if the jury hadn’t heard from the other women,
they wouldn’t have convicted on the evidence alone.
In their decision, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court did not rule on whether or not the
five other women’s testimony was fair. Instead, they focused only on the 2005 announcement
by Castor – which Cosby considered an informal ‘deal’ or ‘agreement’ –
and found that Cosby was robbed of his fifth amendment right not to incriminate himself
when he was deposed because Castor had taken it away from him. In his decision, Justice
David Wecht said that the only remedy was to free Cosby and to stop him from ever being
‘He must be discharged, and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be
barred,’ Wecht wrote.
Three other justices agreed and three dissented, tipping the scales in Cosby’s favor by one