Bill Cosby was released from prison Wednesday after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his 2018 conviction for sexual assault, a dramatic reversal in one of the first high-profile criminal trials of the #MeToo era.
The court’s decision seemed likely to end the Pennsylvania case, legal experts said, and while more than 50 women across the nation have accused Mr. Cosby of sexual assault and misconduct, statutes of limitations in their cases makes further prosecutions unlikely.
Mr. Cosby had served three years of a three- to 10-year sentence at a maximum-security prison outside Philadelphia when the court ruled that a “non-prosecution agreement” with a previous prosecutor meant that Mr. Cosby should not have been charged in the case.
Mr. Cosby, 83, returned to his home in suburban Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon where, looking frail and walking slowly, he was helped inside by his lawyer and a spokesman. He flashed a “V” sign as he reached his front door.
The court’s decision overturned the first major criminal conviction of the #MeToo era, which came soon after allegations of sexual assault had been made against the powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The accusations and eventual conviction of Mr. Cosby stunned the nation, painting a disturbing portrait suggesting that a man who had brightened America’s living rooms as a beloved father figure had been a sexual predator.
The case against Mr. Cosby began with his arrest in 2015 on charges that he had drugged and sexually assaulted a woman at his home in the Philadelphia suburbs 11 years earlier. In April 2018, the jury convicted Mr. Cosby of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand, to whom Mr. Cosby had been a mentor and who was at the time a Temple University employee.
Source: New York Time Picture: Matt Slocum/Associated Press