It appears the convicted comedian Bill Cosby will get the last laugh, though there is little laughable about spending two years in prison on a 3-to-10 year sentence. Cosby, 83, at one time deemed “America’s Dad,” will be released from prison, his conviction of sexual assault overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Cosby’s attorney filed an appeal last year challenging the judge’s decision to allow five accusers to be called by prosecutors and an agreement that Cosby had with a former prosecutor that he would never be charged.
Given assurance by the previous prosecutor led to Cosby being engaged in a civil lawsuit against him, providing key testimony to be allowed leading to his conviction.
“The circumstances before us here are rare,” the court wrote in its opinion, “if not entirely unique.”
The comedian, the justices ruled, had suffered “far greater” due to the testimonies given at his two trials and dismissed a suggestion that a third criminal trial be conducted. Overturning the conviction, they decided it would be the only “action that would suffice.”
They added that, “A contrary result would be patently untenable. It would violate long-cherished principles of fundamental fairness. It would be antithetical to, and corrosive of, the integrity and functionality of the criminal justice system that we strive to maintain. For these reasons, Cosby’s convictions and judgment are vacated, and he is discharged.”
Cosby, arrested in 2015 and convicted in 2018 and the first celeb to feel the brunt of the #MeToo era, on charges brought by Andrea Constand, was promised by D.A. Kevin Steele that he would not bring charges against him, a promise not put in writing.
Justice David Wecht said Cosby had relied on the former prosecutor’s decision not to charge him when he disclosed the incriminating testimony against him in Constand’s civil case.
There was no comment from Cosby or his attorneys following his release from prison.