Bill Cosby is now a free man. The 83-year-old comedian/actor was released from prison on June 30 after the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction.
The court determined Bill Cosby’s due process rights were violated. In 2005, a former Montgomery County district attorney agreed not to prosecute Cosby in exchange for his testimony in a civil case.
Another prosecutor secured a guilty verdict in 2018 by using statements Cosby made in the deposition for the civil case as part of the criminal trial. The PA Supreme Court ruled that action infringed on Cosby’s Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.
The reaction to Bill Cosby being freed was mixed. Supporters, like The Cosby Show co-star Phylicia Rashad, referred to Cosby’s conviction as a “miscarriage of justice.”
However, other people were disturbed by the court’s decision. Some of the women who accused Bill Cosby of drugging and raping them as well as sexual assault advocates expressed confusion, anger, and concern.
Hip Hop artist Kid Cudi also voiced his opinion about the polarizing situation. The Cleveland native tweeted, “People that are celebrating Bill Cosby being released are f##### idiots.”
Over sixty women accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault going back to the 1960s. Stand-up comic Hannibal Buress’s joke in 2014 about Cosby’s alleged sexual misconduct and the rise of the #MeToo movement in 2017 elevated the accusations to national news.
Former Temple University employee Andrea Constand claimed Bill Cosby sexually assaulted her in 2004 at his Philadelphia home. Cosby was convicted in 2018 on three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault. He was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison.
“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,” tweeted Bill Cosby after being set free on Wednesday.