ELKINS PARK, Pa. (WJW) — Bill Cosby was released to his home in the Philadelphia suburbs Wednesday after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out his sexual assault conviction and released him from prison.
When he arrived to his house, Cosby was seen flashing a peace sign as he exited the car. He then went inside his home and rested before making a media appearance alongside his attorneys.
Cosby, 83, has served nearly three years of a three- to 10-year sentence after being found guilty of drugging and violating Andrea Constand at his home in 2004. He was arrested in 2015, when a district attorney filed charges against him a few days before the statute of limitations was about to run out on the alleged assault.
However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Wednesday that District Attorney Kevin Steele, who made the decision to arrest Cosby, was obligated to stand by his predecessor’s promise not to charge Cosby.
The former “Cosby Show” star went free “on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime,” according to a statement from Steele.
During the Wednesday evening media briefing, Cosby’s legal team thanked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for reviewing his appeal and “seeing the light, seeing the lies, and seeing that Mr. Cosby has immunity.”
The team says they will “forever cherish” the verdict.
“Obviously we are thrilled to have Mr. Cosby home,” said his attorney Jennifer Bonjean. “He served three years of an unjust sentence and he did it with dignity and principle and he was a mentor to other inmates. He was, as I say, really doing the time, the time was not doing him.”
Bonjean continued, saying that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court demonstrated that they were “impervious to the court of public opinion” which she says the “lower courts were not.”
Cosby’s attorneys say he never should’ve been prosecuted in this case. Bonjean said that the American legal system should not operate under the influence of politics or the court of public opinion.
“When that happens, there cannot be a just sentence,” Bonjean told reporters. “If there had been a just verdict and a just sentence, we wouldn’t be here fighting.”
“What we saw today was justice, justice for all Americans,” added Andrew Wyatt, another Cosby attorney. “Mr. Cosby’s conviction being overturned is for the world and all Americans who are being treated unfairly by the judicial system and some bad officers.”
Prosecutors could ask the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for reargument or reconsideration of the verdict. However, Peter Goldberger, a suburban Philadelphia lawyer and expert in criminal appeals, told the Associated Press it would be a long shot.
“I can’t imagine that with such a lengthy opinion, with a thoughtful concurring opinion and a thoughtful dissenting opinion, that you could honestly say they made a simple mistake that would change their minds if they point it out to them,” Goldberger reportedly said.
Cosby, who did not comment during the media briefing, is happy to be home and reunited with his wife and children, his attorneys said. The past three years have reportedly been hard for the entire Cosby family and they believe the overturning of his conviction is a “blessing.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.