Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction was just overturned. Is that because there was new evidence in the case? After being found guilty, and 60 different accusers publicly coming forward, is there now reason to believe that the man formerly known as America’s Dad was undeserving of a prison sentence? Nope. Nothing like that. Instead, he’s being freed from prison early and his conviction has officially been overturned because of the way the legal system works. Are the Supreme Court Justices right to have freed him from prison? Probably, legally speaking. The end vote was five to one, and Bill Cosby was sent home.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that District Attorney Kevin Steele, who made the decision to arrest Cosby for sexual assault in 2015, wasn’t legally allowed to do so because of a decision the previous District Attorney made. Reportedly, the previous District Attorney said that he wouldn’t try Bill Cosby for his crimes. Then, the former actor went ahead and testified in a civil case. His testimony was then used in the trial. The Supreme Court ruled that District Attorney Kevin Steele was not legally allowed to try Bill Cosby using that testimony when his predecessor said he wouldn’t. This would stop people from testifying. Ultimately, this was why they overturned the case.
Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to ten years in prison. He served a little shy of three of those years for his 2004 attack of Andrea Constand. There was a moment when Cosby could have gotten parole. To do so, he would have needed to take part in a sex offenders treatment program while in prison. He refused to do so and said he would rather serve the full ten years of his sentence. The former actor still insists that he did not sexually assault Andrea Constand, who is gay, and had a girlfriend at the time she was assaulted. He claims they had consensual relations.
When Andrea Constand originally came to the court system to report Bill Cosby’s assault, the District Attorney cited “insufficient credible and admissible evidence” and said he wouldn’t go after her, although at this time the public is unaware of any written promises to Cosby to that end. When the legal system failed Andrea Constand publicly, she filed a civil suit against him in 2006.
It was during the civil suit that Cosby testified and admitted that he had bought Quaaludes. Quaaludes are a sedative with a history of abuse, they knock people out quickly. They’re old school and not common today. He admitted giving them to women. In 2015, seven women came forward saying that Bill Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted them. A federal judge unsealed the testimony. District Attorney Kevin Steele used it in his trial against Cosby.
It’s currently unclear why this is coming up now and not at the original trial for Bill Cosby. How did no one catch this sooner? What will this mean to the 60 women who have publicly come forward with their allegations of sexual assault? What will it mean to those who see this as another example of someone rich and powerful getting away with their crimes?