After being released from prison, retired actor Bill Cosby is speaking out. As Mamas Uncut reported, Cosby’s prior 2018 drugging and molestation conviction was overturned on June 30.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court made the decision ruling that the testimonies in his earlier trial tainted his right to a fair trial. Surprisingly, the decision came just weeks after a lower appeals court found it “appropriate to showcase a signature pattern of drugging and molesting women.”
As Mamas Uncut stated earlier, Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years after being convicted of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee at his suburban estate, in 2004. Prior to his conviction being overturned, Cosby had served more than two years in a PA state prison.
According to Fox2Detroit, as the Supreme Court stated following its decision, the justices voiced concern around “the judiciary’s increasing tendency to allow testimony that crosses the line into character attacks.” While the law varies from state to state, in Pennsylvania “the law allows the testimony only in limited cases, including to show a crime pattern so specific it serves to identify the perpetrator.”
In response to the decision to overturn Bill Cosby’s decision, Constand and her attorneys issued this response:
“Today’s majority decision regarding Bill Cosby is not only disappointing but of concern in that it may discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system from reporting or participating in the prosecution of the assailant or may force a victim to choose between filing either a criminal or civil action.” She then added that she was “grateful to those women who came forward to tell their stories,” while she and her attorneys added, “we urge all victims to have their voices heard.”
Now, Bill Cosby, himself, a former co-star, and Andrea Constand are speaking out. In a tweet following his release, Cosby said this:
“I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence. Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law.”
His co-star, Phylicia Rashad, followed suit, also taking to Twitter in support of Cosby, writing, “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” This tweet was immediately met with backlash, particularly by Howard University students, where Rashad is the Dean.
Rashad then tweeted an additional statement:
People further reported, the decision to overturn the conviction was also due to a deal he struck with then-Montgomery County district attorney Bruce Castor in 2005. According to Castor, the agreement was, if Cosby sat for a deposition in the civil case brought by Constand, then Cosby would be immune from a criminal trial.
The deal was made because Castor didn’t believe he had enough evidence to get a conviction. It was during that deposition that Cosby admitted to giving quaaludes to women with whom he wanted to have sex.
However, it was Castor’s successor Kevin Steele who brought criminal charges against Cosby in 2015, just days before the statute of limitations expired. Steele used the deposition against Cosby during the trial. The PA Supreme Court further stated that Cosby “had been subject to ‘an unconstitutional ‘coercive bait-and-switch,’ which the court characterized as a ‘due process violation.’”
It was further stated that the courts will prohibit future criminal charges related to Constand’s case.
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