Time’s Up says that Bill Cosby’s release from prison is a “travesty and an injustice” to the survivors who accused the comedian of sexual assault, adding that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to overturn his conviction caused “emotional trauma” to many women.
“The semblance of justice these women had in knowing Cosby was convicted has been completely erased with his release today,” president, and CEO of Time’s Up Tina Tchen said in a statement. “But let’s be clear, even the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision did not challenge the finding of the jury that Bill Cosby committed sexual assault.”
Cosby is set to be released from prison after Pennsylvania’s highest court on Wednesday overturned his conviction stemming from a 2018 felony sexual assault charge. The 83-year-old comedian served three years of a three- to 10-year prison sentence. In overturning the conviction, the state Supreme Court ruled that Cosby can’t be retried on the same charges.
He has maintained his innocence on all accusations of sexual assault.
Last year, a Pennsylvania appeals court upheld Cosby’s conviction, rejecting his legal team’s argument that he wasn’t given a fair trial. But on Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the conviction based on whether the judge should have allowed Cosby’s deposition from a civil lawsuit to be used in the trial after Cosby said he was previously promised by a district attorney that he wouldn’t be prosecuted for those oral and written statements.
Cosby’s case is one of the most high profile of the #MeToo era. He was convicted in 2018 of drugging and sexually assaulting a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, at his home in 2004. Though the case involves just one woman, at least 60 women have come forward to accuse the former entertainer of sexual assault.
See the full statement from Tchen below:
“Today’s devastating decision to overturn the conviction of a man who caused so much harm, pain, and emotional trauma to so many women is a travesty and an injustice. It reminds us again of the struggle that the survivors of his predatory behavior and actions have endured to make their voice’s heard. The semblance of justice these women had in knowing Cosby was convicted has been completely erased with his release today. But let’s be clear, even the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision did not challenge the finding of the jury that Bill Cosby committed sexual assault. To the survivors in this case, each of you came forward with great courage against a powerful man at great personal risk. We were standing with you then and we’re here standing next to you now. We are holding you up in this deeply painful moment. We will continue to fight for and with you, and hope this decision won’t discourage you or others from continuing in the fight to end sexual violence. Your bravery and resolve will not be in vain. TIME’S UP will continue to help survivors in their pursuit of accountability and justice, while advocating for the changes in culture and policy that are essential to creating the safe and equitable workplaces we all deserve. The fight to fix the broken system continues. Your voices matter.”Tina Tchen, CEO and president, TIME’S UP