Dramatic decision in the US: A Pennsylvania court has overturned the sexual offenses of former star Bill Cosby, 83, and he was released from prison after serving just two years of his 10-year prison sentence. Reason for decision: Testimony against the star was improperly given after an agreement between Cosby and the prosecution, and according to the judges in Pennsylvania, the legal proceedings were tainted.
The new decision is related to Cosby’s first trial. The judge allowed another complainant to testify against him, but after the jury failed to reach a decision 5 more women were allowed to testify at his retrial. The court in Pennsylvania, where Cosby is serving his sentence, ruled that it was an improper act that harmed the legal process and decided to reverse the conviction. In addition, the court took into account Cosby’s defense attorneys’ claim about an agreement he had with the previous plaintiff in the trial, according to which he would not be charged for the additional evidence.
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. #BillCosby pic.twitter.com/bxELvJWDe5
— Bill Cosby (@BillCosby) June 30, 2021
The former star who has already returned home responded on Twitter and thanked his supporters and the court. “I have never changed my position or my version. I have always claimed my innocence. Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me during this agony. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law,” Cosby wrote.
Dozens of women have claimed over the years that Cosby sexually assaulted and even raped them, but most of the offenses were statute-barred and therefore did not go to court. In 2018 he was finally convicted of sexually assaulting a young student he drugged, and he was sent to jail. During his trial, the prosecution claimed that Cosby used his name and status to influence young women under the guise of a mentor and teacher, before betraying their trust and harming them.
Janice Baker Kinney, one of the complainants about Cosby, told the ABC network about the disappointment with the court decision: “I am shocked. One small legal quibble can reverse the conviction when so many people have complained, and so many women have told their truth.”
Cosby would rather serve his full sentence than express any remorse for the acts for which he was convicted and imprisoned. Also last month, Cosby’s request to shorten his sentence was denied, after he refused for the entire period of his imprisonment to participate in rehabilitation programs for sex offenders.
Some fear that the court’s new decision will affect other convictions for celebrity sex offenses. Cosby is one of the clear symbols of the revolution led by the Me Too movement, which encouraged many women to stand up and complain about sexual assaults committed by senior figures in the world of culture, so it remains to be seen whether other stars will try to challenge the punishments they received.