William Henry Cosby Jr, or Bill Cosby, is a famous American actor and comedian who gained fame due to his sitcom “The Cosby Show,” which aired on NBC (National Broadcasting Company) from 1984 to 1992.
However, in recent years, Bill Cosby gained media attention not because of his comedy but through sexual assault charges. Many people may ask, is Bill Cosby in jail?
This article provides insight into the criminal case charged against Bill Cosby and his subsequent arrest and incarceration. It also explains the basis of the lawsuits against this American actor and comedian.
Furthermore, this write-up tackles the controversy surrounding the overturning of Cosby’s conviction and release due to a technicality in the rule of law.
When someone like Bill Cosby gets arrested and incarcerated, their personal information and conviction become public record.
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Here’s What You Need to Know About Bill Cosby’s Prison Release
Cosby was given a sentence of 3 to 10 years imprisonment for his conviction in September 2018. However, the 83-year-old celebrity served only three years until his case was overturned.
Cosby Served Three Years in Prison
Journalists from the Associated Press, NBC News (National Broadcasting Company), and spectators watched the legal proceedings that led to the conviction and imprisonment of Bill Cosby.
The disgraced comedian was sentenced to prison. However, in only three years, after exhaustive appeals made by Cosby’s defense, the state’s Supreme Court overturned the case, resulting in Colby’s release.
News rang out with headlines such as “Cosby a free man after Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns sexual assault conviction.” News companies followed suit, and it became a hot topic, especially among circles of advocates for women’s rights.
Cosby’s critics were unhappy because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the conviction over technical grounds. The accusers were understandably upset by the decision and described the overturning as a “slap in the face.”
Supreme Court Judges Say “Remedy Is Both Severe and Rare” but Warranted
Judges of Pennsylvania’s highest court decided to overturn Cosby’s conviction and release him because of a non-prosecution agreement between Cosby and Bruce Castor Jr., the previous district attorney during the comedian’s first criminal investigation.
Castor told Cosby he would drop all charges if the actor provided a deposition about the case filed by Andrea Constand, in which she claimed that Cosby drugged and raped her in 2004.
It was revealed that Constand met Cosby when she was still working as a Temple University employee from 2001 to 2004. In early 2004, Constand said that Cosby invited her to visit him at his home to talk about her career.
Constand said that Cosby gave her wine and pills and told her to relax. She then felt nauseous, her vision went blurry, and she was unable to move. It was then that she revealed that Cosby fondled her and had done a series of lascivious acts like inserting his fingers in Constand’s vagina.
Constand claimed all that happened was nonconsensual, but Cosby disagreed. His version stated that the acts were consensual, though he admitted to giving Constand pills.
Castor was the district attorney at the time when Constand filed a police report against Cosby. However, because the D.A. (district attorney) thought Constand’s case wouldn’t hold up in court, he decided to drop it.
Constand’s accusations have resulted in many women coming forward and claiming that Cosby has sexually assaulted them. Cosby’s accusers increased, and it was the start of the downfall of “America’s dad.”
Along with 13 other women, Constand filed a civil lawsuit against Cosby for sexual assault. Castor made a deal with Cosby that if the comedian provided a deposition, the prosecution would drop the case. Cosby agreed and gave an almost self-incriminating statement, relying on the DA’s promise not to charge him.
The civil case ended with a settlement between Cosby and Constand, where the defendant paid the plaintiff $3.38 million as a settlement.
Cosby again faced trial in 2018, with Kevin Steele, Montgomery County District Attorney, using the comedian’s deposition as a linchpin for the reopening of the case against Cosby.
The court ruled against Cosby, which led to a conviction, fines, and jail time. Cosby’s lawyers made appeals to contest the conviction until, in 2021, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court saw a technicality issue that was enough to overturn the sentence.
Castor promised not to file charges if Cosby provided a deposition in the Constand’s civil case. Cosby agreed and waived his right against self-incrimination.
The new prosecutors didn’t stay true to the promise of the previous D.A. and so “reneged” on the agreement. The Supreme Court saw this technicality as a constitutional violation, resulting in them overturning the conviction, a rare yet severe remedy to correct the sentence.
Why Did Mr. Castor Say He Would Not Charge Mr. Cosby?
The main reason why Castor said that he wouldn’t charge Cosby was to prevent the comedian from invoking his Fifth Amendment right or the accused’s right against self-incrimination.
Castor and Cosby agreed that in exchange for a drop in all charges, the comedian would provide a deposition. A deposition is a sworn statement that can be used in court in which the accused discloses the truth of the case.
In the deposition, Cosby stated that he purchased “quaaludes or methaqualone,” a sedative and hypnotic drug, with the intent of using it on women he wanted to have sex with.
After Castor dropped the initial case against Cosby, Constand filed a civil case against Cosby but ended with a settlement.
Cosby’s camp thought their ordeal ended with the settlement and Castor’s promise of not being charged even after the deposition. However, in 2015, a new set of lawyers opened the case and used the deposition or testimony to ensure Cosby’s conviction.
Bill Cosby Freed From Prison, His Sex Conviction Overturned
Judges of the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court ruled that there was a violation of Cosby’s right to due process. The panel saw that it was unjust for Cosby to be convicted 10 years after the previous district attorney had a deal with the defendant that he wouldn’t be criminally charged if he sat for a civil deposition.
On June 30, 2015, Bill Cosby was released, and television networks covered the entire drama. Philadelphia ABC News made an aerial coverage when Cosby’s vehicle entered the actor’s Pennsylvania mansion. Viewers saw Cosby exiting his car and flashing a peace sign, and so ended his three-year ordeal in prison.
What Did Phylicia Rashad Say About Cosby’s Sentence Being Overturned?
Phylicia Rashad, an avid supporter and long-time friend of Cosby, expresses her gladness about her friend’s overturned conviction. She commented that the judges’ decision corrected a “miscarriage of justice.”
Rashad played Cosby’s wife twice on television, first in the well-known NBC sitcom, “The Cosby Show” (1984 to 1992) and the CBS sitcom, “Cosby” (1996 to 2000).
Cosby Publicist Drives Him Home From Prison
Andrew Wyatt, a spokesperson and publicist who supported Cosby, drove the American celebrity home after his release. However, Cosby wants to file for damages for the time spent in prison as someone who was wrongfully accused.
Pennsylvania state does offer compensation for those wrongfully convicted. However, in Cosby’s case, he still has other people filing complaints about sexual abuse. What’s keeping these complaints from turning into a case is that most of them are beyond the statute of limitations.
A statute of limitation is a specific timeframe where a person can file a complaint depending on the type of criminal charge. If the incident wasn’t reported or filed within the statute of limitations, it can’t be heard by the court.
Why Was Bill Cosby Sent to Jail?
Bill Cosby has become the subject of many sexual assault accusations from various women he met or worked with. As mentioned, in 2015, Cosby faced a felony aggravated indecent assault charge for an incident that happened in 2004 when Cosby allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand.
The case pushed forward, and in 2018, after a controversial criminal trial spectacle, the court ruled that Cosby was guilty and sentenced him to 3 to 10 years in a state prison.
Conviction Represented Remarkable Turn of Events for Bill Cosby
The Cosby criminal case happened during the early years of the “MeToo era,” which is a worldwide movement that focused on providing awareness to women about the dangers of sexual assault and abuse.
Andrea Constand’s filing of a lawsuit against Cosby and the subsequent sex assault conviction of the latter tested whether the MeToo movement has permeated the fabric of America’s judicial system.
However, a few people anticipated that the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown would be the stage that also tested the rule of law, due process, America’s justice system, and upholding the constitutional rights of the accused.
Did Mr. Castor Make a Binding Promise?
You’ll reach one conclusion when you look into the facts of the crime and how the state’s Supreme Court overturned the case.
Indeed, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court believes that former District Attorney Bruce Castor made a binding promise when he promised Cosby that he wouldn’t press charges against the comedian in exchange for him to have a deposition.
Does the Ruling Mean Mr. Cosby Did Not Commit a Crime Against Ms. Constand?
The case was overturned due to an interesting technicality over the upholding of the Fifth Amendment, which protects people from self-incrimination.
The court’s ruling doesn’t mean that Cosby was innocent and Ms. Constand is not credible. The decision only states that Cosby can’t be prosecuted by the methods used by Kevin Steele, the district attorney who led the prosecution during the 2015 to 2018 Cosby trial.
Justice Wecht said that though society has a strong interest in prosecuting crime and punishing sexual offenders, it should not be stronger than ensuring the constitutional rights of people, including those who are accused.
Could Prosecutors Appeal the Ruling?
The prosecution handling Ms. Constand’s case can always appeal the ruling. The Montgomery County prosecutors have asked the Supreme Court to review the ruling.
The main basis for the review is reexamining the reason for the technicality, which is the apparent presence of a “deal” between the former D.A. Castor and Cosby. The prosecution maintains that there was no such “deal” and that the Supreme Court should right a “grievous wrong.”
Will This Ruling Affect Other Cases?
Many who are supporters of Ms. Constand fear that the ruling may set a trend that discourages people from seeking justice for sexual assault. However, it didn’t sway people from filing charges against people like Cosby.
The overturning of Cosby’s case in Pennsylvania didn’t stop women from reporting their accusations against a celebrity for his alleged criminal behavior.
In June 2023, nine women filed sexual assault lawsuits against Cosby. All of them revealed that they were victims of Cosby’s alleged penchant for using drugs on women whom he wanted to have sex with.
The case was filed in Nevada immediately after the state repealed the statutes of limitations to some sexual assault crimes. Furthermore, the old comedian faces other charges from California and New York.
Attorney Gloria Allred Called the Cosby Court Decision “Devastating”
Reactions to the Cosby court decision varied as people from both sides showed their support or dismay over the Supreme Court’s ruling. One of these commentators is Gloria Allred, an attorney who handled the prior bad acts of witnesses who testified against Cosby.
She reiterated that the court’s decision was devastating, especially as Cosby wasn’t tried according to what he had done but due to a technicality.
What concerned Allred was that there may be a possibility that Cosby won’t face similar criminal charges. However, it seemed that many alleged victims were ready to file their cases against the disgraced American actor and comedian.
Cosby Victim Andrea Constand Calls Court Decision “Disappointing”
Andrea Constand, the person who filed the criminal charge that upturned Cosby’s world, showed disappointment over the court’s ruling. She reiterated that the decision may discourage sexual assault victims from seeking justice in America’s courts.
However, she thanked Kevin Steele, the D.A. who handled the case, and the women who supported her by revealing their alleged sexual assault experience and filing additional charges against Cosby.
Bill Cosby ‘Celebrates’ Anniversary of Being Released From Prison With Interview
One year to the day after, Cosby celebrated his release anniversary by agreeing to be interviewed on a local radio station. He talked uninterrupted for 15 minutes and recalled the ordeal he experienced after his lawsuit loss and time in prison.
Cosby didn’t reveal much about his time in prison. However, he told the listeners about entertaining inmates and reiterated the need for heroes.
However, Cosby continued to be a magnet for lawsuits coming from women who were allegedly sexually assaulted by the comedian.
Despite the comments against Cosby, the comedian’s attorneys, like Jennifer Bonjean, were all “thrilled” that “America’s dad’ was finally home.
Bill Cosby Plans to Tour Again in 2023 Despite New Sexual Assault Lawsuit
Andrew Wyatt, the comedian’s spokesperson, told showbiz outlets that Cosby is indeed planning to tour again in 2023 despite having a new sexual assault lawsuit.
In their social media accounts, fellow comedians also mentioned the apparent “comeback” of Bill Cosby on his comedy tour. However, the details about the comedian’s plans are not yet public, and many await further announcements.
Bill Cosby Thanks Supporters in Tweet: “I Have Never Changed My Stance nor My Story”
Bill Cosby thanked his supporters through tweets. Also, along with his appreciation is his statement that he never changed his story or stance. He reiterated that he maintains his innocence. He also thanked the Pennsylvania High Court for upholding the rule of law.
Might Mr. Cosby Face a New Trial?
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby’s case not because he was innocent but because of a technicality in the rule of law. However, it doesn’t prevent anyone with grievances against Cosby from filing a lawsuit.
In fact, Cosby is facing his latest lawsuit, filed in June 2023, which also involved women who were allegedly sexually abused by the comedian.
The Cosby case only highlights the importance of adhering to the rule of law in the justice system.
Suppose you or your loved one are in the same situation concerning technicalities. In that case, it’s best to hire a criminal defense lawyer to help you out.
Also, you can visit LookUpInmate.org to get the necessary documents to help the defense team build a case.
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