Bill Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction was vacated on Wednesday due to a technicality. Cosby was freed and this unexpected turn in the case led to outrage from sexual assault survivors and their supporters.
Lisa Bloom, the attorney of three women who accused Cosby of assault, made a tweet stating, “He is not released because he is innocent. He is released because a prosecutor promised him years ago that he would not be brought to justice, without even making a deal for him to do time.”
The main reason for Cosby’s release was an agreement with a previous prosecutor that Cosby would not be charged if he gave a self-incriminating testimony.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the agreement should have been honored under the prosecutor of Cosby’s 2018 case, and that breaking the agreement was a violation of Cosby’s due process rights.
Cosby was first arrested for sexual misconduct in 2015 during the #MeToo Movement. In his 2018 retrial, he was charged for aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand in 2004, and sentenced to a three to 10-year sentence.
Justice David Wecht wrote in the majority opinion that Cosby “must be discharged, and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred,” meaning he can’t face trial again in this case, essentially blocking any recourse for his accusers.