Bill Cosby is claiming “victory” after a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday that has effectively brought an end to the sexual assault case that landed him in prison for more than two years.
The nation’s highest court decided against reviewing the disgraced comedian’s vacated sexual assault conviction, the final legal step in securing the 84-year-old’s freedom and ensuring Cosby is not tried in a court of law again for the charges.
Cosby’s loyal spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, exalted after the news broke Monday morning. According to the Associated Press, Wyatt characterized the legal case as “a reprehensible bait and switch” and described Cosby — who admitted to drugging and sexually assaulting one woman — as a victim.
“This is truly a victory for Mr. Cosby, but it shows that cheating will never get you far in life, and the corruption that lies within Montgomery County District’s Attorney Office has been brought to the center stage of the world,” Wyatt said Monday.
Cosby was released in June from the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix near Philadelphia after serving more than two years of a three to 10-year sentence for aggravated indecent assault conviction following a guilty verdict for guilty of drugging and molesting Andrea Constandt at his estate in 2004.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby’s conviction after finding that a deal with a previous prosecutor should have prevented him from being criminally charged in the case. The ruling bars any retrial in the case.
Cosby, who has been adamant about his innocence, was charged in 2015 and arrested just days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired. After his conviction, he opted to serve the maximum of the sentence as opposed to apologizing for the alleged 2004 sexual encounter with his accuser.
Another of the dozens of accusers filed a lawsuit in October against the disgraced comedian claiming he drugged and raped her on multiple occasions decades ago in New Jersey.
Lilli Bernard’s civil suit seeks $225 million in damages for Cosby allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting her in an Atlantic City hotel in 1990.
Referring to lawsuits like Bernard’s as “look back provisions,” a statement attributed to Cosby in October dismissed the case as “just another attempt to abuse the legal process by opening up the flood gates for people, who never presented an ounce of evidence, proof, truth and/or facts, in order to substantiate their alleged allegations.”
The statement concluded: “Mr. Cosby continues to maintain steadfast in his innocence and will vigorously fight ANY alleged allegations waged against him and is willing and able to take this fight to the highest court in these United States of America.”
Bernard’s previous allegations against Cosby in 2015 were not criminally investigated because a prosecutor said the statute of limitations had expired. However, Bernard’s lawyer said there is no such statute for civil lawsuits in New Jersey, so their claims should stand.
Judy Huth has alleged that she was a victim of child sexual abuse when Bill Cosby molested her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was 15. The lawsuit claims that one week after meeting Cosby, he gave Huth and her teenage friend pills and alcohol while they played pool before taking them to the Playboy Mansion, telling them to lie about their ages and sexually assaulting them.
The lawsuit had been paused while Cosby was in prison but got the green light to move forward upon his release.
A statement posted to Cosby’s social media channels and attributed to his lead lawyer Jennifer Bonjean was very optimistic about Huth’s civil suit.
“With the reversal of Mr. Cosby’s conviction, his legal team, led by Jennifer Bonjean of the Bonjean Law Group, now turns its attention to the civil lawsuit brought by Gloria Allred on behalf of her client Judy Huth,” the statement said in part. “Since Mr. Cosby’s release from prison and the dismissal of all charges against him, Ms. Allred has been hard at work giving press statements about the alleged merits of her client’s 45-year-old allegations. Ms. Bonjean looks forward to fighting the case in the courthouse where it matters – rather than at press conferences on the courthouse stairs where it doesn’t.”