Bill Cosby is a free man. The disgraced comedian flashed a smile after being released from prison, following the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to overturn his sexual assault conviction.
UPDATE (6/30/2021 @ 7:15 p.m. EST): Bill Cosby has broken his silence since returning home. “I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence,” he wrote via Twitter. “Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law. #BillCosby,” he added.
After serving more than two years in prison, Bill Cosby is out. The 83-year-old arrived at his Pennsylvanian home on June 30, just hours after the state’s highest court overturned his 2018 sexual assault conviction. Despite a jury finding Bill guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault — after he drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004 — the high court freed Cosby due to prior legal arrangement. In the first photos of Bill following this decision, he looked chipper. Cosby appeared to smile through the window of the car that drove him home, obviously happy that he was no longer behind bars.
And once outside of the car, he was asked how it felt to be home again. “He is extremely happy to be home,” a representative answered for him, which you can see in the ABC News video below. “It’s really a blessing for him. He says his heart is just beating really fast.”
Andrea Constand immediately responded to the shocking news, calling the move “disappointing” to TMZ. “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,” she also said to the outlet.
Bill’s freedom came after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its ruling on Wednesday. The court overturned Cosby’s conviction after discovering an agreement with a previous prosecutor that should have prevented Cosby from being charged over the Constand assault, per the Seattle Times. Justice David Wecht, writing for a split court, said Cosby relied on this agreement when he gave potentially incriminating testimony in Andrea Constand’s civil suit. The high court said that District Attorney Kevin Steele, who made the call to have Cosby arrested in 2015, was “obligated to stand by his predecessor’s promise not to charge Cosby when he later gave potentially incriminating testimony in Constand’s civil suit,” per the Seattle Times. The ruling also states that Cosby can’t be retired on the same charges.
BREAKING: Bill Cosby is asked how it feels to be home following release from prison earlier today.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 30, 2021
Bill Cosby arrives home following his release from prison after his conviction on sexual assault charges was vacated by Pennsylvania's highest court. https://t.co/3UB4XzGJts pic.twitter.com/QFzdyf5B8Z
— ABC News (@ABC) June 30, 2021
“When an unconditional charging decision is made publicly and with the intent to induce action and reliance by the defendant, and when the defendant does so to his detriment (and in some instances upon the advice of counsel), denying the defendant the benefit of that decision is an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was foregone for more than a decade,” read the high court’s opinion, per NBC News. “For these reasons, Cosby’s convictions and judgment of sentence are vacated, and he is discharged.”
The trial judge allowed just one other accuser to testify at Cosby’s first trial – which ended in a deadlocked jury. At the retrial, the judge allowed five other accusers to testify, each sharing their experiences with Cosby in the 1980s. The Supreme Court said this testimony tainted the trial. However, a lower appeals court ruled that it was appropriate for the prosecution to show a pattern of drugging and molesting women.
Cosby refused to offer any remorse over the encounter. He vowed to serve the full 10 years instead. In May 2021, he was denied parole after refusing to participate in sex offender programs. He said, per the Seattle Times, that he would resist the treatment programs and refuse to acknowledge the wrongdoing.
As of 2018, there were 60 women who accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault or rape.