In a sudden turn of events, Bill Cosby, known for his role in The Cosby Show, is a free man this afternoon. After going to prison for his role in one of the most important cases in the #MeToo movement, the comedian was set free off the basis that his due process rights were violated.
Via CNN, one of the biggest figures in the #MeToo movement, which called out many of the biggest stars of Hollywood for their sexual misconduct violations, has seemingly dodged the punishment coming to him. Cosby, 83, has walked free due to a technicality brought on by the prosecution in the long-going case’s use of an old deposition that was not available for the new trial. This was due to the fact that the deposition, administered in 2005, was used by a former Montgomery County district attorney to not prosecute Cosby.
A panel of Pennsylvania State Supreme Court judges wrote in their opinion that this evidence was out of bounds for the prosecution to bring against Cosby. The decision ultimately threw out the case because the prosecution had used the evidence in the trial that led to Cosby being sentenced to three to ten years in state prison for the alleged drugging and alleged sexual assault of Andrea Constand in 2004.
In the ruling, obtained by CNN, the judges said, “In light of the circumstances, the subsequent decision by successor D.A.s to prosecute Cosby violated Cosby’s due process rights.”
Cosby spent three years in prison before being released after being convicted for his role in the alleged assault of Constand. In a statement obtained by CNN, Cosby’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, spoke of the state of the comedian. “He is extremely happy to be home… This has been a hard three years for this entire family. It’s really a blessing for him.”
Cosby made a short appearance outside his Pennsylvania home after being freed but took no questions.
The prosecution and its plaintiffs had a different view of the matter. Andrea Constand and her attorneys were very disappointed in the ruling. In a statement obtained by CNN, her attorneys said, “Today’s majority decision regarding Bill Cosby is not only disappointing but of concern in that it may discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system from reporting or participating in the prosecution of the assailant or may force a victim to choose between filing either a criminal or civil action.”
The decision is a hit in the heart for victims of the crimes Cosby has been previously convicted for. When the rumors of sexual assault really came to a head in 2014, the world came together to support the survivors. The ruling, made off a technicality, leaves much to be desired injustice for those that had to see their attacker go free.