The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to prosecutors who wanted Bill Cosby returned to prison. On Monday (March 7), the high court declined to hear the case, which could have possibly reversed a decision by Pennsylvania’s high court to throw out the embattled comedian’s conviction on sexual assault charges, the Associated Press reports.
Cosby’s spokesperson thanked the justices on behalf of the actor and his family, adding that Cosby was victimized by “a reprehensible bait and switch” from the prosecutor and trial judge, the AP reported.
“This is truly a victory for Mr. Cosby, but it shows that cheating will never get you far in life, and the corruption that lies within Montgomery County District’s Attorney Office has been brought to the center stage of the world,” Andrew Wyatt continued.
Wyatt was referring to Montgomery County Pa., District Attorney Kevin Steele pursuing the Cosby case despite his predecessor, Bruce L. Castor Jr., agreeing not to criminally prosecute the entertainer in exchange for his civil deposition. Pennsylvania’s high court, on appeal of Cosby’s conviction, said the agreement should have prevented the criminal case from going forward.
Steele has argued that there was no evidence that the agreement, which he said was never in writing or announced, was legally binding. After the Supreme Court’s ruling Monday, he defended his appeal to the nation’s high court as “the right thing to do,” the AP reported.
“All crime victims deserve to be heard, treated with respect and be supported through their day in court,” Steele added.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction on June 30, 2021, after finding that a "non-prosecution agreement" had been made with a previous prosecutor on the case, which should have prevented him from ever being charged in the first place.
The actor served more than two years of a three-to-10-year sentence at a Philadelphia-area state prison. Previously, Cosby vowed to serve all 10 years rather than acknowledge any guilt over the 2004 encounter with victim and accuser Andrea Constand.
The 83-year-old was convicted of drugging and molesting Constand in 2005 at his suburban home. In late 2015, he was charged when a prosecutor presented newly unsealed evidence. He was arrested days before the 12-year statute of limitations was up.