Comedian Bill Cosby gets the last laugh.
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele to reopen the criminal case against the 84-year-old former TV star. That upholds a decision last year by Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court overturning Cosby’s conviction on indecent assault charges that led to his release from prison. Scores of other women also claimed they were assaulted by the entertainer.
The state Supreme Court held in June 2021 that Cosby should never have been tried in the case because a previous prosecutor (Bruce L. Castor, Jr.) sanctioned a “non-prosecution agreement” with the actor. “In light of these circumstances, the subsequent decision by successor D.A.s to prosecute Cosby violated Cosby’s due process rights.”
The Elkins Park resident was tried twice for his 2004 aggravated indecent assault against then-Temple University employee Andrea Constand. According to testimony, Cosby drugged Constand at his home before the assault. A judge subsequently sentenced him to three to 10 years in prison. He spent just over two years behind bars.
Asked to comment on the Supreme Court declining to hear the appeal, Castor was succinct.
“How does Cosby recover the years of freedom taken from him by Kevin Steele?” he asked.
Steele defended his actions. “Petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court for review was the right thing to do. But obviously, there was only a small chance the high court would be able to hear the case. We appreciate the court’s consideration. My appreciation also goes to Andrea Constand. All crime victims deserve to be heard, treated with respect, and supported through their day in court. I wish her the best as she moves forward in her life,” Steele said.
Whether or not to prosecute Cosby was a campaign issue in the 2015 district attorney’s race that pitted Democrat Steele against Castor, a Republican, a former district attorney and a former county commissioner.
Cosby’s spokesman issued this response:
“On behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Cosby and the Cosby family, we would like to offer our sincere gratitude to the justices of the United States Supreme Court for following the rules of law and protecting the Constitutional Rights of all American citizens of these United States,” said Andrew V. Wyatt, a spokesman for Cosby. “Mr. Cosby’s Constitutional Rights were a ‘reprehensible bait and switch’ by Kevin Steele, Judge Steve T. O’Neill, and their cohorts. This is truly a victory for Mr. Cosby but it shows that cheating will never get you far in life and the corruption that lies within Montgomery County District’s Attorney Office has been brought to the center stage of the world.”