The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court issued an opinion Wednesday ruling that a ‘non-prosecution agreement’ with a previous prosecutor should have prevented him from being charged in the case.
The former “Cosby Show” star was arrested in 2015, when a district attorney armed with newly unsealed evidence — the comic’s damaging deposition in a lawsuit brought by Constand — brought charges against him days before the 12-year statute of limitations ran out.
The 83-year-old former actor served nearly three years of a three-to 10-year sentence after convicted guilty of drugging and violating Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia suburban home in 2004.
Cosby was the first celebrity tried and convicted in the #MeToo era.
As Cosby was set free from the state prison, his appeals lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, said Cosby “should never have been prosecuted for these offenses.”
In a statement, Steele said Cosby went free “on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime.” He commended Constand for coming forward and added: “My hope is that this decision will not dampen the reporting of sexual assaults by victims. … We still believe that no one is above the law — including those who are rich, famous and powerful.”
Read the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court’s full documentation and statement, released earlier today.