Bill Cosby released from prison as sexual assault conviction is overturned

MGN Bill Cosby is seen leaving the Montgomery County Court House after a hearing on his upcoming sexual assault trial in 2017.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned comedian Bill Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction. The state Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Cosby’s deal with former prosecutor Bruce Castor should have been honored. Castor promised not to criminally prosecute Cosby if he agreed to give a deposition in a civil case filed against him by Constand.

Castor had also cast doubt on alleged victim Andrea Constand’s credibility. Castor told the Black Press that the trials against Cosby were “a miscarriage of justice.”

In a phone call with Cosby attorney Jennifer Bonjean, she states, “I am thrilled! I haven’t made my way through the entire opinion yet, but it seems that the court agrees with what we knew all along, that Mr. Cosby never should have been prosecuted in the first place. If a prosecutor’s word is not his bond, then we as a society—and the entire criminal justice system — is in trouble.”

When asked when we could expect him to be released, she responded, “We are on our way to the prison now to pick him up.”

Cosby walked out of the State Correctional Institution – Phoenix in Pennsylvania, Wednesday afternoon. He is expected to release a statement from his home Wednesday evening, according to reports.

Cosby, 83, has served nearly three years of a three-to-10 year prison sentence following his 2018 conviction on charges of indecent aggravated assault. He had repeatedly maintained his innocence.

“When an unconditional charging decision is made publicly and with the intent to induce action and reliance by the defendant, and when the defendant does so to his detriment (and in some instances upon the advice of counsel), denying the defendant the benefit of that decision is an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was foregone for more than a decade,” according to the high court opinion.

“For these reasons, Cosby’s convictions and judgment of sentence are vacated, and he is discharged.”

Stacy M. Brown is the senior NNPA Newswire correspondent.