Bill Cosby Leaves Prison After Sexual Assault Conviction Is Overturned

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Bill Cosby is officially a free man. The same day that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the 83-year-old's 2018 conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, Cosby was seen leaving the State Correctional Institution – Phoenix in Philadelphia.

"Mr. Cosby was released from SCI Phoenix just before 2:30 p.m.," a tweet from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections confirmed. 

Cosby was seen being helped out of the car by several people as he arrived home soon after.

Cosby also held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, though he did not speak. His attorney, Brian Perry, said, "We've said from day one, we just didn't think he was treated fairly. And that...the system has to be fair, and fortunately the Supreme Court agreed with us. He's happy, his wife is happy. The system only works if it's fair to all sides. That's the bottom line."

The court found that an agreement Cosby had with a previous prosecutor prevented him from being charged in the case, according to documents obtained by ET. Cosby previously said that he relied on that agreement before agreeing to testify in his accuser's civil lawsuit.

The court also ruled that Cosby's case cannot be prosecuted again, writing, "He must be discharged, and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred."

In a statement to ET, District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said, "The majority decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court orders the release of William H. Cosby Jr. from state prison. He was found guilty by a jury and now goes free on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime. I want to commend Cosby’s victim Andrea Constand for her bravery in coming forward and remaining steadfast throughout this long ordeal, as well as all of the other women who have shared similar experiences. My hope is that this decision will not dampen the reporting of sexual assaults by victims. Prosecutors in my office will continue to follow the evidence wherever and to whomever it leads. We still believe that no one is above the law -- including those who are rich, famous and powerful." 

Cosby was initially charged in the case in 2015. He was acquitted during his first trial in 2017. The next year, during Cosby's retrial, he was convicted of all three felony sex-assault counts.

Prior to his conviction being overturned, Cosby, who has maintained that his encounter with Constand was consensual, had served more than two years of his three to 10 year prison sentence. He was denied parole in May.

Last June, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to review Cosby's case. At the time, the court said it'd review the trial judge's decision to allow other women to testify about alleged previous encounters with Cosby. In addition, the court agreed to examine Cosby's agreement with a former prosecutor.

Shortly after Cosby won the right to appeal, his wife, Camille Cosbyexpressed support for her husband's appeal.

"There are possibilities now. Finally, there is a court … that has said, 'Wait a minute. There are some problems here. They can be considered for appeal,'" Camille told ABC News. "I am very, very pleased … but now I'm looking at something that is possible. Possible for vindication. That is the goal."


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