US comedian Bill Cosby’s release from prison after his sexual assault conviction was overturned has led to an outpouring of anger and shock. His 2018 conviction for drugging and molesting ex-basketball player Andrea Constand was overturned on Wednesday. Judges said there had been a “process violation” by the prosecution. Upon his release, Mr Cosby tweeted: “I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence.”
Bill Cosby has said that he will not testify in court next month in Pennsylvania in a radio interview conducted on Tuesday. He said he planned to leave his defense to his legal team. In another interview with a different radio station, one of Cosby’s daughters commented saying “I believe that racism has played a big role in all aspects of this scandal. . . . My father is being punished by a society that still believes black men rape white women but passes off as ‘boys will be boys’ when white men are accused.”
On Monday, the courtroom was tense, hearing two contrasting sides of alleged rapist Bill Cosby. His defense said “The only thing that is worse than [sexual assault] is the false accusation of sexual assault, it’s an attack on human dignity,” whereas the other side says “This case is about trust, betrayal and the inability to consent.” Cosby is accused of drugging and raping multiple women, but the case currently in court is for the allegations made against Cosby by Andrea Constand, an operations manager for the Temple University women’s basketball team in an alleged attack from 2004.
Lawyers and Judge Steven T. O’Neill selected the first five jurors out of 100 after a painstaking process on Monday for the Bill Cosby Trial. Selection began in the morning at the Allegheny County Courthouse. The five jurors selected, three men and two women, all of them white, said that they had not formed opinions in the case. The defense team struck four potential jurors on Monday, and the prosecution struck two, including an older black woman. Mr. Cosby, 79, arrived at the courthouse before 8 a.m. declined to answer reporters’ questions.
A judge in Pennsylvania declared a mistrial on Saturday after he deemed the jury were hopelessly deadlocked on the high-profile sexual assault case against Bill Cosby. The jury was unable to come to a verdict, after 52 hours of deliberation. A retrial will be scheduled in 120 days to be held sometime within the next 12 months.