Bill Cosby: Supreme Court refuses to review decision to free actor

Comedian was convicted for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004

Ellie Harrison
Monday 07 March 2022 15:13 GMT
Bill Cosby: A timeline of sexual abuse allegations

The Supreme Court has announced it will not take up the sexual assault case against comedian Bill Cosby, leaving in place the 2021 decision to throw out his conviction and set him free from prison.

On Monday 7 March, the high court declined prosecutors’ request to hear the case and reinstate Cosby’s conviction.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last year threw out Cosby’s conviction, saying the prosecutor who brought the case was bound by his predecessor’s agreement not to charge Cosby.

As is typical, the Supreme Court did not make any comments about rejecting the case. It was included in a long list of cases the court said it would not hear.

Cosby, 84, became the first celebrity convicted of sexual assault in the #MeToo era when a jury in 2018 found him guilty of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004. A jury had previously deadlocked in Cosby’s case, resulting in a mistrial in 2017.

Cosby spent nearly three years in prison before Pennsylvania’s high court ordered his release. He has long maintained his innocence in the case.

The high-profile status of Cosby, once known as “America’s Dad” and star of the hugely popular and influential 1980s sitcom The Cosby Show , has drawn national attention to the case over the years.

Bill Cosby performs at the 7th annual 'Stand Up For Heroes' event at Madison Square Garden on November 6, 2013 in New York City.
Bill Cosby performs at the 7th annual 'Stand Up For Heroes' event at Madison Square Garden on November 6, 2013 in New York City. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

In 2015, then-President Barack Obama told reporters: “I’ll say this, if you give a woman, or a man for that matter, without his or her knowledge, a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape. And I think this country, any civilised country, should have no tolerance for rape.”

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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