The White House declined to comment on the imminent release of imprisoned comedian Bill Cosby after a Pennsylvania court overturned his 2018 sexual assault conviction.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters she did not have “a direct response” as lawyers analyze the court’s ruling.
“The president has long been an advocate for fighting against violence against women, for ensuring that we are raising the voices and the stories of people who have been survivors of sexual assault,” Psaki said Wednesday. “That’s something he has done throughout his career and will continue to do.”
“I just want to be careful about not speaking to a specific decision by a court,” she added.
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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated Cosby’s conviction on three counts of aggravated indecent assault on Wednesday. The opinion was based on an agreement between the entertainer and a previous prosecutor that should have shielded him from being criminally charged over allegations he drugged and molested Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee, at his home in 2004. He was charged in 2015, days before the statute of limitations would have barred proceedings, despite consenting to be deposed in Constand’s $3 million 2006 civil case against him.
The majority of the appellant panel also disagreed on Wednesday with the lower court in allowing five other accusers to supplement Constand’s testimony during Cosby’s retrial. Cosby’s initial trial resulted in a hung jury.
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The 83-year-old, once known as “America’s dad,” served two years of a three-to-10-year prison sentence. He also never admitted to any wrongdoing.
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Tags: News, Sexual Assault, Media, Biden Administration, White House, Bill Cosby, Jen Psaki, Pennsylvania, Law, Crime
Original Author: Naomi Lim
Original Location: White House punts when pressed on Bill Cosby’s release from prison