Bill Cosby released from prison after conviction overturned

By Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 0200 GMT (1000 HKT) July 1, 2021
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6:28 p.m. ET, June 30, 2021

CNN legal analyst: Prosecutors face uphill battle to charge Cosby again

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

CNN legal analyst Elie Honig noted Wednesday that prosecutors face an uphill battle if they seek to try Bill Cosby for sexual assault of other victims because those cases could be barred by statute of limitations.

"The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that prosecutors cannot re-try Cosby for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand. Prosecutors therefore can seek to try Cosby only for sexual assault of other victims, and many or all of those cases could be barred by the statute of limitations at this point," he said.

Honig went on to say that if prosecutors decide to appeal the case, it will have to go to the US Supreme Court.

"The only possible appeal from this ruling is with the United States Supreme Court; it is not clear whether Pennsylvania prosecutors will seek to appeal, and even if they do, it is highly unlikely the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case," he said.

Cosby has denied all allegations made against him as being false.

Correction: An earlier version of this post said that the Supreme Court indicated that prosecutors went too far to call up to five other alleged victims to establish a pattern against Cosby. The majority opinion says in a footnote that they didn't consider that issue. The headline and quotes have been updated to clarify what legal options remain for prosecutors in Pennsylvania when it comes to Cosby.

1:29 p.m. ET, June 30, 2021

Bill Cosby to be released from prison after conviction overturned

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Bill Cosby at Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, in 2018.
Bill Cosby at Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, in 2018. David Majaletti/Pool/Getty Images

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania vacated Bill Cosby’s 2018 conviction and judgement of sentence, according Stacey Witalec, a spokesperson for Pennsylvania Courts.

The majority opinion stated “Cosby convictions and judgement of sentence are vacated and he is discharged,” Witalec told CNN as she read from the majority opinion.

The court was split on its judgment with four in favor, two part in favor, part not in favor, and one who filed a dissent entirely.

The decision cannot appealed by the prosecution in the state of Pennsylvania.

When asked if Cosby can be released from prison today, Witalec deferred to the prisons department.

Cosby was sentenced in 2018 to 10 years in a state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home 14 years ago.