Source: AP News
Former actor and entertainment executive Bill Cosby has been released from prison after the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania announced that it would be overturning his conviction for sexual assault after over fifty women came forward and accused Cosby of various misconducts.
The court’s decision has most likely brought to an end the case that saw one of the biggest centers of intrigue and arguably pioneered the #MeToo movement among movie and entertainment professionals. Many victims came forward to file complaints against Bill Cosby for offenses such as sexual assault, misconduct, and sexual harassment, which lead to a guilty pleading back in 2018 that put the actor behind bars.
Mr. Cosby has, since then, posted his photo with a fist raised in the air and eyes closed on Twitter, with the caption, “I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence.” Bill is a retired stand-up comedian, actor, and author whose entertainment career spanned six decades, beginning in 1961. He was the face of the highly successful television program, The Cosby Show, which hit airwaves from 1984 to 1992. Cosby also starred in various films and theatrical hits, such as “Man and Boy,” “To All My Friends on Shore,” “Top Secret,” “Fat Albert,” “Jack,” and many others.
In a publicly released seventy-nine-page opinion, the judges on the case presented a case that the previous prosecutor’s statement would be overturned and Mr. Cosby would no longer be facing charges after testifying in a civil trial. The ruling states that he “should not have been charged in the case” after a six-to-one sentence set the previously convicted actor free. The decision was made last June 30, 2021.
According to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, a non-prosecution agreement had been struck with the former district attorney, Bruce L. Castor, indicating that Bill Cosby’s charges should have never happened in 2018. The court has also barred a retrial, virtually setting in stone Bill’s freedom and rendering all accusations null and void for the foreseeable future.
Bill’s case began back in 2005. Since then, various reports have linked the actor and Hollywood icon with highly publicized accusations of rape, sexual battery, child abuse, and drug-facilitated sexual assault. Some of the earliest reports go back to the mid-1960s. In 2014, a video showing Cosby went viral as part of a comedy routine of comedian Hannibal Buress, which prompted more women to come forward and report sexual misbehavior done by Bill. Records of abuse against the actor span across decades, between 1965 to 2008 across ten US states and one Canadian province.
Cosby, now eighty-three years old, has returned to his home in Philadelphia since Wednesday afternoon. The announced ruling has overturned what was long seen as a massive victory for the “Me Too” movement that has swept across the entertainment industry and pointed to many high-profile celebrities and executives as sexual predators.
Bill Cosby served three years at a maximum-security facility outside Philadelphia. His original sentence initially pinned a three to ten-year sentence on the former actor. Brian W. Perry, a legal counsel representing Mr. Cosby, came forward with an official statement, saying that Cosby was “thrilled” with the ruling.
Opinions expressed by US Insider contributors are their own.