BILL Cosby has been released from jail, after Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned his sex assault conviction.
The sentence was overturned on June 30, 2021, and Cosby was released from the State Correctional Institution before 3pm ET, just two hours after the decision was made.
How long was Bill Cosby in jail for?
American entertainer Bill Cosby has been released from jail, after serving more than two years of a three to 10-year sentence at a state prison near Philadelphia.
On June 30, 2o21, Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned Cosby’s sex assault conviction.
He had vowed to serve all 10 years rather than acknowledge any remorse over the 2004 encounter with accuser Andrea Constand.
He was charged in late 2015, and arrested just days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.
Cosby, who was once beloved as America’s Dad, was convicted of drugging and molesting the Temple University employee at his suburban estate.
His release comes just a month after he was denied parole for refusing to participate in a therapy program for sexually violent predators.
Cosby, 83, was born William Henry Cosby Junior in Philadelphia in 1937.
He became a national treasure during his career, which saw him produce and star in the TV sitcom The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992.
When was he found guilty of sexual assault?
Cosby was found guilty in 2018 of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for the drugging and sexual assault of his one-time friend Andrea Constand, a former Temple University administrator, at his Philadelphia home in 2004.
Around 60 women over five decades have publicly accused the Emmy award-winning actor of being a sexual predator, but statute of limitation laws meant that only one charge was ever brought to trial.
- Cosby was accused of incapacitating Constand, then aged 30, with blue pills and then molesting her while she drifted in and out of consciousness at his Philadelphia mansion in 2004
- “Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it,” Constand told the court
- Jurors heard Cosby paid Constand almost $3.4m (£2.4m) in a civil settlement in 2006, despite the comedian claiming the encounter was consensual
- On April 26, 2018, Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Constand
- The guilty verdict came less than a year after another jury was deadlocked on the charges
- The retrial was before the same judge and district attorney as the first trial – but the judge allowed five additional accusers to give evidence
- On April 27, Judge Steven O’Neill placed Cosby on house arrest at his Philadelphia mansion, ordering him to be outfitted with a GPS ankle bracelet to monitor compliance, ahead of sentencing
- In May 2018 it was announced that Cosby had been expelled by the Oscars Academy
- On September 24, 2018, he was handed a sentence of three to 10 years in prison
- Judge Steven O’Neill also fined Cosby $25,000 and ordered him to pay the costs of the prosecution
- He denied Cosby’s request for bail while lawyers appealed the conviction
- The judge also designated Cosby a “sexually violent predator” under Pennsylvania law
- Cosby will have to undergo monthly counselling and register as a sex offender with police for the rest of his life
- In 2019 the appeals judges upheld the verdict and Cosby’s sentencing
- His lawyers, in January 2020, asked the Pennsylvania High Court to review the court decision that upheld his conviction
- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court confirmed in October that it will hear Cosby’s appeal on December 1
- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby’s sex assault conviction on June 30, 2021.
- Bill Cosby has been released from prison after his sexual assault conviction was overturned on June 30, 2021.
- The accuser in Bill Cosby’s criminal trial, Andrea Constand, has spoken out against his overturned sexual assault conviction, saying it could discourage sexual assault victims from seeking justice through the courts in the future.
In October 2021, it was reported that Bill Cosby accuser Lili Bernard was suing him in a New Jersey Civil Court alleging that she was raped by him.
The lawsuit alleges Cosby drugged and raped Bernard in New Jersey in 1990 after offering to feature her on The Cosby Show.
“I have waited a long time to be able to pursue my case in court and I look forward to being heard and to hold Cosby accountable for what he did to me. Although it occurred long ago, I still live with the fear, pain and shame every day of my life,” Bernard said in a press release announcing the lawsuit.
What happened in the initial sexual assault trial?
In May 2016, District Judge Elizabeth McHugh ruled there was sufficient evidence to bring Cosby to trial after dozens of women raised similar claims and a sealed deposition in a 2006 civil lawsuit brought by Constand was made public.
In the deposition, Cosby admitted giving Constand pills.
He settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed sum after testifying about his extramarital affairs, his use of sedative drug Quaaludes to seduce women and his efforts to hide payments to former lovers from his wife.
Cosby was charged with aggravated sexual assault on December 30, 2015, just days before the 12-year statute of limitations, the maximum time after an event in which legal proceedings can be initiated would have run out.
However, on June 17, 2017, the judge declared a mistrial after the jury said they were “hopelessly deadlocked”.
What has Bill Cosby’s wife said about his conviction?
Camille Cosby married Bill in 1964.
They had five children together and she acted as her husband’s manager during his career.
Camille has defended her husband against the allegations that he sexually assaulted numerous women.
In 2014, Camille released a statement saying that her husband had been the victim of accusations: “The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to love, is the man you all knew through his work.
“He is a kind man… and a wonderful husband, father and friend.”
In the 2016 deposition, Camille declined to answer questions, invoking spousal privilege when asked whether Bill had been faithful to her.