Bill Cosby released from prison after court overturns sexual assault conviction

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Bill Cosby released from prison after court overturns sexual assault conviction
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Bill Cosby released from prison after court overturns sexual assault conviction
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Bill Cosby was released from prison Wednesday after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his 2018 sexual assault conviction, upending the first high-profile case of the #MeToo era. Cosby, 83, was convicted of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, at his home in 2004.

In its opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said a “non-prosecution agreement” with a former prosecutor prevented Cosby from facing charges. The court said Bruce Castor, the former Montgomery County district attorney, declined to prosecute the case and gave Cosby the assurance he would not be criminally prosecuted if he testified in a civil case brought by Constand.

But Cosby testified that he gave quaaludes to women he had pursued for sex — evidence that Castor’s successor, District Attorney Kevin Steele, used against him in 2015. Later, Cosby was convicted on three counts of indecent assault and sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison.

“In light of these circumstances, the subsequent decision by successor D.A.s to prosecute Cosby violated Cosby’s due process rights,” the justices wrote Wednesday.

“There is only one remedy that can completely restore Cosby to the status quo ante,” they continued. “He must be discharged, and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred. We do not dispute that this remedy is both severe and rare. But it is warranted here, indeed compelled.”

In a statement, Constand and her legal team said the court’s decision was “not only disappointing” but concerning because it could discourage sexual assault survivors from coming forward. “We urge all victims to have their voices heard,” they said.

You can read the rest of Justin Carissimo and Zoe Christen Jones’ article at CBSnews.com

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