Actor and comedian Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for trial for sexual assault on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction, setting the stage for the 83-year-old comedian’s release later that day.
The state’s highest court overturned Cosby’s conviction based on an agreement he made with a former prosecutor that would have prevented Cosby from being prosecuted in the case. This new judgment precludes any retrial in this case. Court documents say.
Cosby has been sentenced to three to ten years in prison for the last two years.
The Supreme Court’s opinion also contradicted the trial judge’s decision to have the prosecution name five other prosecutors in addition to Andrea Constand, the former Temple University employee whose allegation formed the basis of the criminal case.
Cosby was accused in 2004 of drugging and molesting Constand on his estate. He was charged with the alleged assault in 2015 and arrested just days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.
Originally, the trial judge had only allowed one other prosecutor to testify at Cosby’s first trial. However, after the jury got bogged down, the judge then allowed five other prosecutors to testify at Cosby’s retrial.
That statement spoiled the trial, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said, even though the lower appeals court found it appropriate to display a pattern of behavior.
The court ultimately neglected the admissibility of the five other prosecutors, overturning the verdict based on an agreement with a former prosecutor that prevented Cosby from being prosecuted.
“After discovering a due process violation here, we need to determine what legal remedies Cosby is entitled to,” the court document reads.
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– The Associated Press contributed to this report.