Popular comic actor Bill Cosby’s assault conviction has been overturned by the highest court in Pennsylvania and subsequently ordered his release immediately.
According to the court, the 83-year-old comedian who had served more than two years of a potential three-to-10-year sentence in state prison following his 2018 conviction said that he ought not to have faced charges after striking a non-prosecution deal with a previous district attorney more than 15 years ago.
Upon his release, Cosby tweeted: “I have never changed my stance on my story. I have always maintained my innocence.”
The recent judgment and release of Cosby have led to an outpouring of anger and shock.
His 2018 conviction for drugging and molesting ex-basketball player Andrea Constand was overturned on Wednesday.
Judges said there had been a “process violation” by the prosecution, but admitted their ruling was unusual.
Many have expressed concern that the decision could deter women from coming forward in the future.
The decision “is not only disappointing but of concern in that it may discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system from reporting or participating in the prosecution of the assailant,” Constand and her attorneys said.