Cosby was accused of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, the former Temple University employee at his estate in 2004.
Cosby was discharged and acquitted by the court in the first trial. About an hour into the sixth day of deliberations in the first trial, Judge Steven O’Neill declared that the jury of seven men and five women were hopelessly deadlocked in a legal battle.
In the second trial, Andrea Constand said Cosby gave her three blue pills at his home in suburban Philadelphia in January 2004 when she was director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University, where Mr. Cosby was a trustee.
She added that her legs became rubbery and that Mr. Cosby helped her to a couch where he penetrated her with his fingers as she lost consciousness. She said: “I was weak. I was limp, and I just could not fight him off.”
Why Bill Cosby was found guilty in the second trial
Cosby was actually found guilty in the second trial because unlike the first trial, 5 of the accusers were allowed to testify at the second trial, and their testimony unquestionably had a significant impact on the verdict. Judge Steven O’Neill believes that Cosby had done it in the past. Therefore, he must have done it again this time.
The women gathered together and said in a press conference that this verdict is not just a victory for only Andrea Constand, but a victory for all women who have gone through this.
The comedian and actor in his 80s then faced as many as 10 years in prison for each of the three counts. However, the sentences could be served concurrently.
After Judge Steven O’Neill discharged the jury, Montgomery County District Attorney, Kevin Steele, asked to have Mr. Cosby’s $1 million bail revoked, saying he was a flight risk and owned a private plane.
The judge did not approve his request because Cosby had already surrendered his passport and attended every hearing.
Although Cosby maintained that his contact with Constand was consensual, he was convicted based on two major factors which are:
1. The verbal testimony of 5 other accusers who were not allowed to testify in the first trial.
2. Cosby’s admission in his deposition that he had given quaaludes to women before having fun with them in the past decades.
However, Cosby’s attorney, Thomas Mesereau, said he was disappointed with the verdict and planned to appeal.
Why Cosby’s conviction was overturned
Bill Cosby was released from prison after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his indecent assault conviction. Cosby was freed based on the prior agreement that barred him from being prosecuted in the case.
The state’s highest court tossed Cosby’s conviction based on the fact that Cosby had immunity in the case and the immunity bars him from being charged.
The judge who later discharged Cosby said that prosecutors violated Mr. Cosby’s rights by reneging on an apparent promise not to charge him. If someone is given immunity due to one reason or the other, the immunity must be adhered to by any court of law.
Cosby had an agreement with a prior prosecutor that would have prevented him from being criminally charged in the case, but this agreement was ignored by the judge who sent Cosby to prison.
A written agreement by the previous Montgomery County prosecutor, Bruce Castor, said that he would not criminally prosecute Cosby in the Constand case.
Castor testified that while he was district attorney, he promised not to file criminal charges against Cosby if he would testify in a civil lawsuit that was filed by Constand in 2005. Cosby agreed.
Bruce L. Castor Jr, the former county’s district attorney was convinced that the prosecution would have trouble corroborating forensic evidence without Cosby confessing to the alleged charges.
Cosby testified during four days of depositions by Constand’s attorneys, and the civil suit was settled for more than $3 million in 2006.
Criminal charges were brought in again in 2015 by Steele, who succeeded Castor as the county’s district attorney. It was the same Castor who represented former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial.
Furthermore, Bill Cosby who was sentenced in 2018, was charged in 2015. He was arrested just days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.
This led to the question of whether his arrest, charges, and conviction were politically or racially motivated.
The 83-year-old comedian was released after serving two years into a three-to-10-year prison term. The new ruling bars any retrial in the case.
According to Justice David Norman Wecht, “We hold that when a prosecutor makes an unconditional promise of non-prosecution, and when the defendant relies upon that guarantee to the detriment of his constitutional right not to testify, the principle of fundamental fairness that undergirds due process of law in our criminal justice system demands that the promise be enforced,”
Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt, “We want to thank the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. This is what we have been fighting for and this is justice and justice for black America.”
“This is the justice Mr. Cosby has been fighting for. They saw the light. He was given a deal, and he had immunity. He should have never been charged.”
After Cosby’s acquittal, Mr. Castor said “I was right back in 2005, and I’m right in 2021,” Mr. Castor said. “I’m proud of our Supreme Court for having the courage to make an unpopular decision.”
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