If you thought Bill Cosby‘s overturned conviction and release from prison on Wednesday was a surprise, imagine how the dozens of women who accused him of drugging and assaulting them were feeling.
Well, imagine no more as some of Cosby’s accusers have begun issuing public statements reacting to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacating his 2018 conviction for aggravated sexual assault.
After reviewing Cosby’s case since last December, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the evidence used to convict the disgraced comedian should have been inadmissible, thus leading to the conviction being overturned. The ruling means that Cosby, who was tried twice after a mistrial, won’t be subjected to another retrial in the case, court documents say. The full court document can be read here.
Eden Tirl, who was an actress on “The Cosby Show” 30 years ago, said she was notified of the overturned conviction via text message. She questioned the legal system’s priorities.
“From the very beginning, the rigid constructs of the statute of limitations did not provide protection or a pathway for justice for the women that came out against Cosby,” Tirl told NBC News in a statement emailed to NewsOne. “The outdated laws are so clearly in place, protecting men in these cases, more often than not. This is the story of the MeToo movement that must be included in the narrative now and not pushing the Cosby story off to the side. I am completely out of breath.”
Heidi Thomas, also speaking to NBC News, said she, like many other people, was completely caught off guard. Thomas, who claimed while testifying at the 2018 trial that Cosby’s drugging of her described the text message she received about the news as being “out of the blue.”
Another accuser was much more forthright and offered no uncertain terms reacting to the ruling.
“It’s bullshit! I think it’s all bullshit,” Beth Ferrier, told the New York Post on Wednesday.
She suggested without proof that Cosby used his wealth and prestige to secure his freedom.
“It’s money and power. He’s so guilty of what he did. It doesn’t matter, and it sets a precedent,” Ferrier added. “It’s not OK.”
One important distinction in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling is that while the conviction was overturned, it didn’t mean Cosby was not guilty. After being assured immunity from criminal prosecution, Cosby admitted to using quaaludes to drug women before he groped and/or sexually assaulted them.
Ferrier noted that Cosby has never said he’s sorry for what he did.
“He owes money to a victim fund. He should be held accountable,” she said. “He’s yet to apologize.”
Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing three women who accused Cosby of drugging and griping them, said she and her clients “are disgusted that he is a free man today.”
Bloom added: “He is not released because he is innocent.”
Andrea Constand, the plaintiff whose accusations against Cosby resulted in the guilty verdict, was among the dozens of other accusers who did not speak out immediately.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.
Bill Cosby Walks Free After Pennsylvania Supreme Court Vacates Sexual Assault Conviction
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