Bill Cosby Released From Prison After Sexual Assault Conviction Is Overturned; Phylicia Rashad Speaks Out

by Jamila Lizet White

June 30, 2021

Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

Bill Cosby was released from prison Wednesday (June 30) after his sexual assault conviction was thrown out by Pennsylvania’s highest court for violating his due process rights.

The comedian served nearly three years of his three to 10-year sentence after he was found guilty of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, a sports administrator for Temple University, at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

NORRISTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA – MAY 24: Actor and comedian Bill Cosby leaves a preliminary hearing on sexual assault charges on May 24, 2016 in at Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Enough evidence was found to proceed with a trial, a Pennsylvania judge ruled. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

As the first celebrity to be tried and convicted in the #MeToo era, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court said that Kevin Steele, the District Attorney who made the decision to arrest the 83-year-old, was obligated to stand by his predecessor’s promise not to charge Cosby.

This ruling comes as a shock to many as a little over a month ago, TV One reported that a parole board denied Cosby’s attempt to get out of prison.

The court called the former The Cosby Show actor’s arrest “an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was forgone for more than a decade.” According to the justices, overturning the conviction and barring any further prosecution, “is the only remedy that comports with society’s reasonable expectations of its elected prosecutors and our criminal justice system.”

Cosby was seen leaving the Pennsylvania prison at 2:30 PM in a white vehicle in which according to his appeals lawyer Jennifer Bonjean, “should never have been prosecuted for these offenses.”

Also standing by the actor is Cosby’s television wife, Phylicia Rashad, who took to Twitter to share an overjoyed reaction to the news.

Although Cosby can no longer be charged for the rape of Constand again, more than 60 women have claimed that he drugged and assaulted them over the decades with the earliest allegation taking place in the mid-1960s.

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