Pennsylvania Supreme Court sets Bill Cosby Free

Overturning Sexual Assault Conviction

On June 30, 2021, actor and comedian Bill Cosby was released from prison after serving three years after being convicted on sexual assault charges. Cosby began acting in the early 60s and continued up until the mid 90s. He was the star of many movies and television shows such as Little Bill, The Cosby Show, and many more. 

People had began to see him in a different light during the height of the Me Too movement in 2017 when many celebrities had come forward on their experiences with sexual assault in various industries. During this time period, 60 women had come forward, accusing Cosby of sexual assault as well as forced use of substances. 

Cosby’s first trial was in 2017 and his case had lasted until April 2018 when he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Many were outraged by the sentence, feeling he should have served longer. People were even more infuriated when he did not serve his full sentence. 

This early release was due to former Pennsylvania Attorney General, Bruce L. Castor Jr. after he made an alleged ‘promise’ to Cosby that he would not be charged. This promise forced Cosby’s discharge, regardless of his previous sentence. Although some do not see this promise as fair, the Supreme Court majority stated this was, in fact, a binding promise. 

His discharge from prison does not mean he did not commit a crime, he simply cannot be prosecuted for it because of Mr. Castor. He also cannot again be tried for this case, and all future charges must be barred. 

Although this decision is believed to be final, the ruling could always be appealed by the U.S. Supreme Court, but Cosby’s judges did not move forward with that decision because it is very unlikely that the Supreme Court will analyze the case.