“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 high court ruled in the story. “For these reasons, Cosby’s convictions and judgment of sentence are vacated, and he is discharged.”
Cosby was sent to state prison following his 2018 conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand.
Constand testified that Cosby assaulted her at his Pennsylvania home in 2004 after she came to him for career consultation.
But Bruce Castor, the then-Montgomery district attorney declined to press criminal charges against the infamous actor, “thereby allowing Cosby to be forced to testify in a subsequent civil action,” according to the high court.
“Unable to invoke any right not to testify in the civil proceedings, Cosby relied upon the district attorney’s declination and proceeded to provide four sworn depositions. During those depositions, Cosby made several incriminating statements,” according to the high court opinion.
“D.A. Castor’s successors did not feel bound by his decision, and decided to prosecute Cosby notwithstanding that prior undertaking. The fruits of Cosby’s reliance upon D.A. Castor’s decision — Cosby’s sworn inculpatory testimony — were then used by D.A. Castor’s successors against Cosby at Cosby’s criminal trial.”
Read the full story here.
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