Bill Cosby remained silent as his legal team spoke during a press conference outside his house following his release from prison Wednesday, just hours after Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned his 2018 sexual assault conviction.
Speaking outside Mr Cosby’s home, his lawyer said the 83-year-old former television star is “feeling free”.
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections said Mr Cosby had been released shortly after the state’s Supreme Court’s decision was revealed.
It comes after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that an agreement with a previous prosecutor, Bruce Castor - the attorney who represented former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial - prevented Mr Cosby from being charged in the case.
Mr Cosby had been convicted of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee, at his estate.
The former television star has already served more than two years of a three- to 10-year sentence at a state prison.
He had been prepared to serve out all 10 years rather than express remorse over the allegations against him over the 2004 encounter with Ms Constand.
It is unclear exactly when he will be released from prison following the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision.
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Bill Cosby accuser Victoria Valentino hits out at ‘injustice’ of ruling to free him
Bill Cosby accuser Victoria Valentino has branded the ruling to overturn his sexual assault conviction an “injustice”.
“I am deeply distressed,” she has said.
Mr Cosby had been convicted of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee, but Ms Valentino was one of dozens of other people to accuse him of sexual misconduct.
I’m absolutely in shock … My stomach is lurching and I am deeply distressed about the injustice of the whole thing,” Ms Valentino said.
Cosby released from prison
Bill Cosby has been released from prison, the Pennsylvania prison system has said.
Mr Cosby was expected to be released within hours after his sexual assault conviction was overturned.
The Associated Press reported that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has confirmed he has been released.
Cosby Show actor Phylicia Rashad backs release
Cosby Show actor Phylicia Rashad expressed her support for Bill Cosby’s release on Wednesday, writing on Twitter that a “terrible wrong” had been “righted”.
Ms Rashad played Mr Cosby’s wife on the show for more than a decade.
Read more on her comments here:
The actor, who played Cosby’s wife on the long-running sitcom, wrote on Twitter that “a miscarriage of justice is corrected”
RAINN ‘deeply disappointed’ by decision
RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organisation in the US, has lamented the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction, calling it “deeply” disappointing.
“We are deeply disappointed in today’s ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and by the message this decision sends to the brave survivors who came forward to seek justice for what Bill Cosby did to them,” Scott Berkowitz, the president of RAINN said in a statement shared with The Independent.
“This is not justice,” he said.
What happens now that Bill Cosby has been released?
Bill Cosby has been released from prison, with his 2018 sexual assault conviction overturned - but what happens now and could he potentially be in line to receive a payout?
Graeme Massie looks at what might lie ahead for Mr Cosby:
Actor had served two years of a three to 10-year prison sentence
Trump accuser E Jean Carroll: ‘THIS is why women do not come forward’
E Jean Carroll, the journalist who has previously accused former President Donald Trump of sexually assault, has hit out at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to allow Bill Cosby to walk free.
“THIS is why women do not come forward,” she said in a tweet, sharing news of the court decision to overturn Mr Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction.
Montgomery County DA commends Andrea Constand for coming forward
Montgomery County DA Kevin Steele has commented on Bill Cosby’s release from prison, saying: “He was found guilty by a jury and now goes free on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime”.
He said he wanted to commend Andrea Constand, who had accused Mr Cosby of sexual assault, resulting in his 2018 conviction, “for her bravery in coming forward and remaining steadfast throughout this long ordeal, as well as all of the other women who have shared similar experiences.”
In addition to Ms Constand, dozens of other women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr Cosby.
Bill Cosby: The rise, fall, and now jaw-dropping release from jail
When Bill Cosby was convicted of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, many doubted he would ever see a day outside prison again, with his sentence being for three years to a decade and the then-81-year-old admitting to be in poor health.
Today, that changed with Mr Cosby able to walk free after Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned his 2018 sexual assault conviction.
Chief US correspondent Andrew Buncombe has the story:
Bill Cosby pictured arriving home after prison release
Bill Cosby returned home for the first time in almost three years after his 2018 sexual assault conviction was overturned.
Photos show Cosby exit his car in the driveway of his house after serving more than two years of a 10-year sentence at a state prison.
Bill Cosby accuser Janice Baker Kinney ‘shocked’ by decision
Bill Cosby accuser Janice Baker Kinney has said she is “shocked” by the decision to let the former television star walk free.
“I’m stunned, I’m shocked,” she said, speaking on Good Morning America.
“Just one little legalese can overturn this when so many people came forward, so many women have told their truths,” she said.
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