Bill Cosby was released from prison Wednesday after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his indecent assault conviction.
The state’s highest court tossed Cosby’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.
The ruling bars any retrial in the case, court documents say.
The 83-year-old comedian was two years into a three-to-10-year prison term.
Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt, who traveled to the prison to get Cosby, said,
“We want to thank the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. This is what we have been fighting for and this is justice and justice for black America.”
“This is the justice Mr. Cosby has been fighting for. They saw the light,”
Wyatt said, according to NBC News. “He was given a deal, and he had immunity. He should have never been charged.”
Cosby was accused of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, the former Temple University employee whose allegation was the basis of the criminal case, at his estate in 2004. He was charged in 2015 for the alleged attack and arrested just days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired. He was sentenced in 2018. He has said his contact with Constand was consensual.
″[Cosby] was found guilty by a jury and now goes free on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime,” District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”
rtain the remedy to which Cosby is entitled,” the court document stated.
Cosby’s release prompted film producer Harvey Weinstein’s legal team to issue a statement embracing the court’s decision.
“In reversing the conviction of Bill Cosby, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has demonstrated, once again, that no matter who a defendant may be and no matter the nature of the crime, courts can be relied upon to follow the law and come to the correct decision,” said Weinstein’s appellate counsel in a written statement. “This decision also reaffirms our confidence that the Appellate Division in New York will reach the similarly correct decision in Harvey Weinstein’s appeal, considering the abundance of issues that cry out for a reversal.”