Friday, December 3, 2021

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Pennsylvania’s Highest Court Has Overturned Bill Cosby’s Sexual Assault Conviction

AP is reporting that Pennsylvania’s highest court has tossed out Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction, giving him an opening to be immediately released from prison.

According to the comedian who was once known as “America’s Dad” won in the court because the prosecutor who brought the case had been bound by his predecessor’s agreement not to charge Cosby.

The report continues:

Cosby, 83, has served more than two years of a three- to 10-year sentence after being found guilty of drugging and violating Temple University sports administrator Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He was the first celebrity tried and convicted in the #MeToo era.

The former “Cosby Show” star was arrested in 2015, when a district attorney armed with newly unsealed evidence — the comic’s damaging deposition testimony in a lawsuit brought by Constand — brought charges against him days before the 12-year statute of limitations ran out.

But the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that District Attorney Kevin Steele, who made the decision to arrest Cosby, was obligated to stand by his predecessor’s promise not to charge Cosby. There was no evidence that promise was ever put in writing.

Justice David Wecht has now said that Cosby had relied on the former district attorney’s decision not to charge him when the comedian gave his potentially incriminating testimony in the Constand’s civil case.

The court called Cosby’s arrest “an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was forgone for more than a decade.”

Also, according to AP: “justices said that overturning the conviction, and barring any further prosecution, ‘is the only remedy that comports with society’s reasonable expectations of its elected prosecutors and our criminal justice system.”

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