Bill Cosby to go free as sex assault conviction overturned in Philadelphia

Bill Cosby sex assault conviction overturned by Philadelphia Supreme Court (Image: Getty)

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The Philadelphia Supreme Court has overturned Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction meaning the star will be freed from prison.

On Wednesday (June 30), the highest court in the state decided that the 83-year-old Cosby’s conviction should be removed after he has served more than two years of his prison sentence which was due to last three to 10 years.

The actor-comedian is expected to go free and be picked up by his lawyer within hours on Wednesday and be released from a state prison in Shippack, Pennsylvania.

The television star had been convicted of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban estate in 2004.

Cosby had previously vowed to serve all ten years in prison rather than acknowledge remorse over the 2004 encounter with Constand.

He had been charged in 2015 after a prosecutor obtained new evidence from the accuser’s previous lawsuit against Cosby.

After a jury was deadlocked, the judge at the trial allowed five other accusers to testify at the retrial, with accounts detailing events in the 1980s.

Actor/stand-up comedian Bill Cosby arrives for sentencing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania
(Image: Getty Images)

However, the Supreme Court for the State of Pennsylvania has now decided that these testimonies tainted the trial despite lower appeals courts deciding otherwise.

In the 79-page court document, it was ruled: "When an unconditional charging decision is made publicly and with the intent to induce action and reliance by the defendant, and when the defendant does so to his detriment (and in some instances upon the advice of counsel), denying the defendant the benefit of that decision is an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was foregone for more than a decade.

"No mere changing of the guard strips that circumstance of its inequity".

The document concludes: "Cosby's convictions and judgment of sentence are vacated, and he is discharged.""

Actor/ stand-up comedian Bill Cosby arrives at Montgomery County Courthouse for retrial hearing on March 6, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania
(Image: Getty Images)

One of Cosby’s appellate lawyers said the evidence had been too vague against Cosby, including his own testimonies.

Lawyer Jennifer Bonjean had argued in December: “The presumption of innocence just didn’t exist for him.”

Cosby had been charged in 2018 and this year was his first opportunity for parole which was denied back in May.

The decision in May to not grant Cosby parole by the parole board at the time was dubbed by his spokesperson Andrew Wyatt “appalling.”

Cosby, once dubbed "America's Dad", was best known for his hit 1980s television series The Cosby Show.

The conviction of the actor-comedian had been considered a landmark moment for the #MeToo movement in 2018 after dozens of women had come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual assault.

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