Actress Phylicia Rashad celebrated the release of fellow actor-comedian Bill Cosby claiming that justice had been served as other Hollywood celebrities and the media raged and melted down over him walking free.
Longtime friend Rashad celebrated Cosby’s release via Twitter and claimed that justice had been served after his 2018 conviction for sexual assault was stunningly overturned on a technicality: “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”
“I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward,” Rashad wrote in another tweet.
“My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth,” Cosby’s former co-star stated.”Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing.”
FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected! pic.twitter.com/NrGUdwr23c
— Phylicia Rashad (@PhyliciaRashad) June 30, 2021
Hollywood was collectively outraged and stunned by the development.
Actress and Time’s Up co-founder Amber Tamblyn declared that she’s “furious” over the ruling, alleging she knows “women who this man drugged and raped while unconscious.”
Rosie O’Donnell expressed herself profanely over the issue: “f*** u Bill.” Rosanna Arquette and members of the media melted down over his alleged victims.
Cosby is now 83-years-old. He cannot be retried in Pennsylvania on these charges again so this is, in fact, the end of the case.
He was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. All the other accusations by other alleged victims ran afoul of the statute of limitations in their cases. Many wondered why it took so long for these women to come forward and why they suddenly did so all at once.
The original district attorney was Bruce Castor, who argued at the time that there was insufficient evidence to convict Cosby on a criminal charge. Then an agreement was struck.
“He made a deal with Cosby, pretty much stating, ‘I won’t prosecute you, but at the same time, by doing that, you’re going to lose your ability to plead the Fifth … By doing this deal, you have to testify in a civil proceeding against yourself,'” Ori Raphael, an attorney and legal expert told the Washington Examiner, referring to Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination.
The deal granted Cosby “almost immunity from being prosecuted on the rape charge,” Raphael went on to explain. Cosby then testified in the civil proceeding under the penalty of perjury.
The depositions were unsealed in 2015. The new prosecutor used them to file criminal claims against the actor and comedian, a move the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has now determined violated Cosby’s agreement with Castor.
Constand issued a statement calling the overturned conviction “disappointing” and claimed that “it may discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system from reporting or participating in the prosecution of the assailant or may force a victim to choose between filing either a criminal or civil action.”
“On the one hand, the Court acknowledged that the former District Attorney’s decision not to prosecute Mr. Cosby was not a formal agreement and constituted at best a unilateral exercise of prosecutorial discretion not to prosecute at the time,” she noted in the message shared on Twitter. “The Court also acknowledged that it agreed with the lower court’s credibility determinations, but nevertheless precluded a future prosecution, which included additional evidence developed in the civil case.”
“Once again, we remain grateful to those women who came forward to tell their stories, to DA Kevin Steele and the excellent prosecutors who achieve a conviction at trial, despite the ultimate outcome which resulted from a procedural technicality, and we urge all victims to have their voices heard,” the statement concluded. “We do not intend to make any further comment.”
Our statement. pic.twitter.com/px4Y5cqYaZ
— Andrea C. she/her/they/them (@ConstandAndrea) June 30, 2021
Cosby defiantly declared his innocence after being released in a press conference and via Twitter: “I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence. Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law. #BillCosby.”
I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence.
Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law. #BillCosby pic.twitter.com/bxELvJWDe5
— Bill Cosby (@BillCosby) June 30, 2021
Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera called the conviction of Bill Cosby “mob justice” as the celebrity walked free after his conviction for sexual assault was overturned.
As an attorney, Rivera has stated previously that Cosby should not have served any jail time because the initial district attorney in the case had made a deal with Cosby. When a new district attorney came into office, he ignored that deal and prosecuted him, violating the premise of self-incrimination.
Rivera appeared Wednesday on Fox News’ “America Reports” and once again condemned the conviction. He reiterated what he said in 2016: “I predict his conviction will be overturned. Judge went way over the line in allowing unrelated victim testimony.”
Rivera went on to further address Cosby’s conviction after it was vacated: “What they did to this guy was mob justice.” He added that the former state district attorney had promised that if Cosby would testify in a civil deposition, that he would not be subjected to a criminal case filed against him. Rivera stated that bringing in “unrelated victims” was “so grotesquely unfair.”
He also asked: “How is he going to get back the two years that he has lost now?” And then declared: “This never should have happened.”
(Video Credit: Fox News)
Anchor John Roberts in turn asked Rivera, “You say ‘how is he going to get back the two years that he has lost while being in prison?’ How will the 58 women who say he did to them what they say he did ever get back any sense of justice here, and any sense of ever being whole again?”
Rivera made it clear that he felt for the victims and did not deny that Cosby was guilty. He regretted that they did not receive any “moral fulfillment” because of the ruling but he also pointed out that the criminal justice system doesn’t work that way.
The Fox News personality then made another shocking prediction concerning Harvey Weinstein: “I’ll tell you something else, in my opinion, this will be reflected in Harvey Weinstein’s appeal as well.”
“You can spit on him, do all you want, but he was unjustly convicted in my opinion,” Rivera contended.
Cosby served two and a half years of a three-to-ten-year sentence before his conviction was overturned.
(Video Credit: Fox 46 Charlotte)
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