The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has overturned Bill Cosby ’s sex assault conviction after finding an agreement with a previous prosecutor prevented him from being charged in the case.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, held on Wednesday, in a 4-3 decision that some of the evidence used to secure the conviction against Mr Cosby had violated his due process rights in a 79-page opinion.
“For these reasons, Cosby’s convictions and judgment of sentence are vacated, and he is discharged,” the document said.
Also given as a reason for the decision is a “non-prosecution agreement” agreement with a previous prosecutor that prevented Mr Cosby from facing charges.
Mr Cosby was convicted and sentenced in 2018 in the first high-profile celebrity criminal trial at the start of the #MeToo movement. Mr Cosby had been charged and convicted of drugging and molesting ex-basketball player Andrea Constand in 2004, when prosecutors apprehended him before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.
Mr Cosby has served over two years of a three- to 10-year sentence at a state prison. This year, he would have been eligible for parole under the three- to 10-year sentence handed down after his 2018 conviction. This judgement from the supreme court means he will be released from prison
In May, Mr Cosby had previously refused to partake in sex offenders programs during his stay in prison, which affected his eligibility for parole. He had stated that he would rather serve the full sentence, instead of acknowledging any remorse over the 2004 incident.
The Pennsylvania Parole Board had in a letter said that Mr Cosby’s failure to develop a parole release plan as well as a negative recommendation by the Department of Corrections contributed to the decision to deny him parole.