Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court made a decision to revoke Bill Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction in Montgomery County, paving the way for the 83-year-old comedian to be released on Wednesday after serving more than two years in prison.
Cosby was convicted of sexual assault and drug abuse at his estate in the Philadelphia area in 2004, and Andrea Constance, a former employee of Andrews University. Plead guilty unless the appeal is successful, such as the decision of the state Supreme Court judge on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court reviewed Cosby’s argument that he has obtained the consent of the former Montgomery County District Attorney, Bruce Castor, that he will not be criminalized after he settled with Constant’s civil court in 2005 Allegations.
When Constant’s allegations surfaced, Custer refused to prosecute Cosby because of concerns about insufficient evidence and the feasibility of a criminal case. Custer’s review of the evidence convinced him that Constant’s actions, including a delay of about a year before she reported the incident to the police, would make a successful prosecution unlikely.
In order to bring justice to Constant in some form, Custer testified that he supported her in a civil lawsuit, which would require Cosby to testify in this case, instead of invoking his Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination. Privilege, because there was no subsequent state lawsuit against him. Cosby participated in four testimonies during which he discussed what happened with Constant and admitted that he had given other women strong tranquilizers when he wanted to have sex with other women.
Cosby’s testimony in his testimony was later used by the current Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele to initiate criminal proceedings against Cosby. The comedian was arrested in 2015 and charged in connection with the Konstande incident, although Custer arranged for immunity in exchange for his testimony in a civil trial.
Two lower courts have determined that Cosby’s final criminal trial and conviction in 2018-after the previous year’s trial failed-have legal effect. They believe that Castor and Cosby have never formally signed an agreement to avoid future criminal prosecutions and therefore have no binding force on future prosecutors.
Contrary to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Wednesday, it held that the trial should not continue because it undermined Cosby’s due process rights, trapped him in “bait and conversion,” and ultimately lost his freedom.
“When the prosecutor makes an unconditional promise not to prosecute, and when the defendant relies on that guarantee to impair his constitutional right not to testify, the basic principle of fairness that is the basis of due process in our criminal justice system requires that the promise will be enforced,” the state supreme Court Justice David Wecht wrote in his majority opinion.
The Supreme Court also reviewed the testimony of five women who accused Cosby of drug use and sexual assault on them during the 1980s, a key aspect of the state’s case where Cosby was considered a serial predator. The court considered whether the testimony tarnished the trial by entering the field of character attacks, but did not rule on the matter because the ruling has determined that the trial should not completely take place.
Cosby was once considered the “Dad of America” ??and one of the most important black artists in the United States, with an estimated income of approximately US$400 million during his career. The shameful and emotional criminal case against Cosby had a profound impact on a generation that once regarded him as a pioneer and role model.
For many who have witnessed the collapse of Cosby’s career-in recent years, more than 60 women have accused him of raping him-the Supreme Court’s decision is a blow to the #MeToo movement’s demand for accountability.
In May, as the Supreme Court’s review of the appeal continued, Cosby was denied parole after refusing to participate in the sex offender program — treating the treatment as a guilty plea.
Gloria Allred, a lawyer representing several Cosby accusers who testified at the trial, said Wednesday that the Supreme Court’s decision does not amount to a verdict of not guilty.
“Despite the decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, this is an important just struggle,” Allred told ABC News Live. “Even if the court overturned the conviction on technical grounds, this does not prove that Bill Cosby’s behavior was correct, and it should not be interpreted as a statement or conviction that he did not participate in the alleged behavior.”
Steele issued a statement on Wednesday praising Constant and vowed to continue to support victims of sexual assault.
District Attorney Kevin Steele said: “I would like to commend Cosby’s victim Andrea Constance for bravely stepping forward and remaining firm in the long ordeal, and all other women who have had similar experiences.” I hope this decision will not affect victims’ reports of sexual assaults. The prosecutors in my office will continue to track evidence no matter where or to whom it points. We still believe that no one can be above the law—including those Rich, famous and powerful.”
Read the majority opinion of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling below.