BREAKING NEWS: Bill Cosby, 83, will be released from prison TODAY after Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns his sexual assault conviction

  • Bill Cosby's sexual assault conviction has been overturned by Pennsylvania's Supreme Court  
  • He will be released from SCI Phoenix in Skippack Township later today after serving two years behind bars 
  • He was convicted in 2018 of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home  
  • He had been publicly accused of other misconduct by different women but none of their claims could be prosecuted because they fell outside statutes of limitations
  • At Cosby's first trial, only one other woman testified and the jury was deadlocked - a mistrial was declared 
  • At his 2nd trial, prosecutors called five other women to testify who all claimed he'd abused them in some way 
  • Their claims were separate from the Constand case but prosecutors said painted a picture of his character
  • It's a tactic that was also used by prosecutors in Harvey Weinstein's trial to demonstrate a pattern of behavior 
  • Cosby fought it, saying their testimony was irrelevant and would lead the jury to assume he was guilty 
  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that it wasn't fair and tainted the jury beyond repair 
  • They also ruled that a prosecutor's remark in 2005 that he wasn't going to charge Cosby led him to incriminate himself in a deposition 
  • Comments he made in that deposition were among the evidence prosecutors used to rBill Cosby will be released from prison today after Pennsylvania's Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction in a surprise decision, ruling that a 2005 public promise by a prosecutor that he wouldn't charge him gave him a false sense of security and led him to incriminate himself.  

    Cosby was jailed in 2018 for sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. 

    She had gone to the police in 2005 but the then Montgomery County DA Bruce Castor - one of Trump's impeachment lawyers - said publicly he was not going to pursue charges. 

    The following year, Constand sued Cosby and in a civil deposition, he admitted using Quaaludes on women without their consent and said he did it to have sex with them. Over the next ten years, multiple women made claims against him publicly and with the police. 

    In 2015, a new Montgomery County DA charged him, using the remarks he made in the 2005 deposition as part of the evidence against him. 

    Cosby was convicted in 2018 and he appealed it, claiming it was an unfair prosecution in the first place and that he also didn't get a chance at a fair trial because the judge allowed five women to testify as 'bad act' witnesses. Their allegations weren't being prosecuted, but they all told stories of how he'd allegedly assaulted them. Cosby claimed that it led the jury to find him guilty of assaulting Constand unfairly, and that if the jury hadn't heard from the other women, they wouldn't have convicted on the evidence alone. 

    In their decision, Pennsylvania's Supreme Court did not rule on whether or not the five other women's testimony was fair. 

    Instead, they focused only on the 2005 announcement by Castor - which Cosby considered an informal 'deal' or 'agreement' - and found that Cosby was robbed of his fifth amendment right not to incriminate himself when he was deposed, because Castor had taken it away from him.   

    His victims have reacted angrily, saying they are 'disgusted' and 'shocked' by the decision.  

    Andrea Constand is the woman Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting at his Pennsylvania home in 2008. Her allegations against Cosby were the only ones that could be prosecuted because they were just inside of the state's statute of limitations

    Andrea Constand is the woman Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting at his Pennsylvania home in 2008. Her allegations against Cosby were the only ones that could be prosecuted because they were just inside of the state's statute of limitations 


    Chelan Lasha

    Chelan Lasha

    Chelan Lasha 

    Lasha testified about 1986 incident with Cosby when she was 17. 

    She said he'd invited her to his room at the Las Vegas Hilton and told her he'd help her with her career. 

    Janice Baker-Kinney

    Janice Baker-Kinney

    Janice Baker Kinney

    Testified about a 1982 incident with Cosby in Reno. 

    She said she was given pills, they played backgammon and she passed out then woke up the next day undressed, next to Cosby in bed  

    Janice Dickinson

    Janice Dickinson

    Janice Dickinson 

    Dickinson testified that Cosby assaulted her in 1982 in Lake Tahoe. 

    She said: 'His robe opened...he smelled like cigar and espresso and his body odor. Here was America’s Dad on top of me. A happily married man with five children, on top of me.' 

    Lise-Lotte Lublin

    Lise-Lotte Lublin

    She was 27 at the time.  

    Lise-Lottw Lublin 

    She testified that Cosby gave her two drinks in his hotel room in Las Vegas in 1989. She said she remembers him stroking her hair but then she passed out.  

    Heidi Thomas 

    Heidi Thomas

    Heidi Thomas

    Thomas testified that she met Cosby in 1984 and that after taking one sip of wine he'd given her, she passed out. 

    She said she woke up in his bed in a hotel room in Reno and that she was drowsy for days afterwards.

    At least 60 women have testified against Cosby in total either in civil lawsuits or interviews 

    Over the next ten years, multiple women come forward in the press and civil lawsuits to accuse him but it wasn't until 2015 that he was charged. He was charged two weeks before the statute of limitations would have rendered Constand's claims expired. All of the other claims are too old to be prosecuted.

    In 2018, he was convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to between three and ten years behind bars. 

    Constand testified at his trial along with five others who spoke about their own allegations against him. 

    Those women were  Chelan Lasha, Janice Baker Kinney, Janice Dickinson, Lise-Lottw Lublin and Heidi Thomas.  

    When Cosby, 83, was sentenced for his crimes against Constand, the other accusers seized it as their own justice too. 

    The disgraced comedian always fought his conviction, despite admitting in a deposition that he used Quaaludes on women, without their knowledge, with the hope of later having sex with them. 

    He was sentenced to between three and ten years but he vowed to serve the full ten because anything less would have required him to express remorse.  

    Now, lawyers from other trials may seize on the Cosby decision to undo their client's convictions.  

    One recent notable case where prosecutors used other witnesses to describe a pattern of behavior rather than testify about a specific crime was that of Harvey Weinstein. 

    He fought to exclude other women's testimony from his trial. 

    Another is the actor Cuba Gooding Jr., who was charged for a handful of crimes after women allegedly involved in multiple other incidents testified to prosecutors.  

    The law allows the testimony only in limited cases, including to show a crime pattern so specific it serves to identify the perpetrator.

    In Cosby's case, one of his appellate lawyers said prosecutors put on vague evidence about the uncharged conduct, including Cosby´s own recollections in his deposition about giving women alcohol or Quaaludes before sexual encounters.

    'The presumption of innocence just didn´t exist for him,' Jennifer Bonjean, the lawyer, argued to the court in December.

    Prosecutors said Cosby repeatedly used his fame and 'family man' persona to manipulate young women, holding himself out as a mentor before betraying them.

    Cosby, a groundbreaking Black actor who grew up in public housing in Philadelphia, made a fortune estimated at $400 million during his 50 years in the entertainment industry. 

    His trademark clean comedy and homespun wisdom fueled popular TV shows, books and standup acts.

    He fell from favor in his later years as he lectured the Black community about family values, but was attempting a comeback when he was arrested.

    'There was a built-in level of trust because of his status in the entertainment industry and because he held himself out as a public moralist,' Assistant District Attorney Adrienne Jappe, of suburban Montgomery County, argued to the justices.

    Cosby had invited Constand to an estate he owns in Pennsylvania the night she said he drugged and sexually assaulted her.

    Cosby's wife Camille always stood by him, insisting he was innocent. 

    In her most recent interview, after the state Supreme Court agreed to hear his appeal, she said: 'My first reaction is hopefulness, possibilities. The state's highest court … has said, 'Wait a minute. 

    'There are some problems here. They can be considered for an appeal." I'm very, very pleased.' 

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.