The former stand-up comedian, 83, took to Twitter to proclaim his innocence in a 2018 sexual assault case, which previously found him sentenced to three to 10 years behind bars. “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,” Cosby wrote while breaking his silence on Wednesday, June 30, adding, “Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law.”
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court court overturned his case earlier in the day, citing an “unfair trial” as the reason behind their decision. The court noted that Cosby was denied protection against self-incrimination following a civil suit, after Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor declined to press charges against the comedian. As a result, one of his alleged victims, Andrea Constand, was able to move forward with her civil case against Cosby.
“Unable to invoke any right not to testify in the civil proceedings, Cosby relied upon the district attorney’s declination and proceeded to provide four sworn depositions,” the court explained in its decision. During those depositions, Cosby made several incriminating statements, which were later used against him in his 2018 criminal trial. He was found guilty of the 2004 alleged drugging and assaulting of Constand.
His freedom has since received cheers from his Cosby Show wife, actress Phylicia Rashad. “Finally!!! A terrible wrong is being righted. A miscarriage of justice is being corrected,” she tweeted before disabling the comments.
The actress received so much backlash that she wrote a follow-up tweet, which read, “I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth. Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing.”
The court’s decision was met with disappointment from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. D.A. Kevin Steele said that Cosby essentially got off on a technicality. “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,” Steele wrote in a statement to the media.
He added, “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.” Steele continued, “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.”
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