On June 30, it was revealed that at 83 years old, Bill Cosby will be released from the Pennsylvania prison he has been serving time in for more than two years. As you may remember, the retired actor—best known for his role as Dr. Huxtable on The Cosby Show—was sentenced to three to 10 years after being convicted of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004.
At the time of the assault, Constand was a Temple University employee at his suburban estate. After being convicted in 2015, as Fox2Detroit reports, rather than show any remorse towards Constand, Cosby “vowed to serve all 10 years.”
During the trial, the presiding judge allowed one other accuser testify against Cosby. It was a decision that was made when the jury deadlocked.
According to Fox2Detroit, it was at the retrial that the judge then allowed five other Cosby accuser’s testify. Many of those women said their encounters with the comedian occurred in the 1980s.
PA Supreme Court Overturns Bill Cosby’s Molestation Conviction
Now, the Pennsylvania Supereme Court has ruled that the testimony tainted the trial. This decision comes just weeks after a lower appeals court found it “appropriate to showcase a signature pattern of drugging and molesting women.”
A similar occurrence took place in New York during Harvey Weinstein’s trial. He is currently serving a 23 year sentence and is facing additional charges in California. As reports have pointed out, it’s unclear how Cosby’s overturned conviction will now influence other, similar cases.
As Fox2Detroit reports, in their explanation, the justices showed 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.”
This was the first year Cosby was eligible for parole. Prosecutors have not yet revealed if they will appeal this decision and ultimately try Cosby a third time.
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