Prosecutors in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision that allowed Bill Cosby to be released from prison after he was convicted of sexual assault, NPR reports.
Kevin R. Steele, Montgomery County District Attorney, said in a press release on Monday, that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision could set a precedent that “prosecutors’ statements in press releases now seemingly create immunity.”
“This decision as it stands will have far-reaching negative consequences beyond Montgomery County and Pennsylvania,” Steele said. “The U.S. Supreme Court can right what we believe is a grievous wrong.”
Andrew V. Wyatt, a spokesperson for Cosby, claimed that the D.A. is asking the nation’s highest court to “throw the Constitution out the window, as it did, to satisfy the #metoo mob.”
“This is a pathetic last-ditch effort that will not prevail,” he wrote, adding that Steele’s “fixation with Mr. Cosby is troubling, to say the least.”
As EBONY previously reported, Cosby’s assault conviction in April 2018 was overturned after serving almost three years of a possible 10-year sentence. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the actor’s due process rights had been violated.
In 2004, Andrea Constand, who had been working for the women’s basketball team at Temple University in Philadelphia, accused Cosby of drugging and then sexually assaulting her at his home.
Former district attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. promised Cosby that he would not face criminal charges stemming from Constand’s allegations in 2005. According to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, this agreement was binding.
In a 79-page opinion, the judges of Pennsylvania’s highest court ruled that the “non-prosecution agreement” that was struck with the previous prosecutor should have protected Cosby from any criminal charge.
“When an unconditional charging decision is made publicly and with the intent to induce action and reliance by the defendant, and when the defendant does so to his detriment (and, in some instances, upon the advice of counsel), denying the defendant the benefit of that decision is an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was foregone for more than a decade,” the appeals ruling stated.
“For these reasons, Cosby’s convictions and judgment of sentence are vacated, and he is discharged,” the ruling concluded.