Bill Cosby has been released from prison after serving less than three years of a ten-year sentence. The 83-year-old media mogul/entertainer was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand. A Pennsylvania judge threw out the conviction due to Cosby’s right to due process being violated. A brief recap of the series of events that led to Bill Cosby’s incarceration is necessary to fully understand the due process violation.
The alleged Andrea Constand incident happened back in 2004. The incident was addressed in a civil case a short time later in 2005. Bill Cosby wound up settling the case for a reported $3.38 million. The District Attorney in this case apparently made an on-record promise to Bill Cosby that his testimony during this civil case would not result in criminal prosecution. This remained true up until 2015 when sealed court documents of the civil case were unsealed and made available to the general public. The testimony was found to be incriminating and it was used during the trial in which Cosby was convicted.
Since the D.A. did promise Cosby that he would not be prosecuted before he gave testimony that incriminated himself, the fact that the exact opposite happened years later is a violation in itself. But the larger violation, and most likely the main reason why Cosby is now a free man, happened during the trial. And actually, the first criminal trial for the assault of Andrea Constand ended in a hung jury. So it was during the second trial where the more egregious incident happened.
Cosby had several accusers come forward and accuse him of sexual assault. The issue is that most of these women speak of incidents that happened in the 70s and 80s, many years beyond the statute of limitations. Andrea Constand’s allegation comes from 2004. That made her incident fall just within the window of the statute of limitations at the time of charging Cosby. These women had been supporting each other on several television interviews and even a magazine cover. Some of them decided to testify during the Cosby/Constand trial. This was a clear mistake because it involved entering outside evidence into a case that was ruled to taint the jury.
The two aforementioned series of events are enough to have his conviction thrown out. According to the law, this appears to be the correct way to go. There could actually be a third trial. Double jeopardy does not apply here because Mr. Cosby has not technically been found guilty or innocent. But since the first trial wound up being a hung jury, and the second sent a man to prison based on faulty evidence, a third trial seems totally unlikely.
Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction overturned by court
Bill Cosby released from Pennsylvania prison after sex assault case thrown out | Fox News
D.L. Hughley on Argument with Bill Cosby: “I Use the N-Word But I Don’t Rape Girls” (Part 4) – YouTube
Bill Cosby: 35 of his accusers speak to New York magazine – BBC News
Hannibal Buress: how a comedian reignited the Bill Cosby allegations | Bill Cosby | The Guardian
Joseph C. Phillips: “Bill Cosby Is Guilty!” – The Hollywood Reporter
Cosby co-star: Cosby is guilty – YouTube
Bill Cosby: The ‘joke’ that started the fire storm of accusations against him | The Independent | The Independent
Andrea Constand v. William H. Cosby, Jr. – Wikipedia
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