Cosby was released after Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned his sexual assault conviction, saying his due process rights were violated in the first major case of the #MeToo era.

The reaction of the accusers and their lawyers to Wednesday’s announcement contrasts sharply with the elation many of them felt in 2018 when the comedian was convicted of three counts of indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand at her home in a Philadelphia suburb. in 2004.
Andrea Constand
Constand was the central figure in Cosby’s criminal trial three years ago. She testified that Cosby drugged and assaulted her at her home in 2004.

Constand and his lawyers said Wednesday’s decision to overturn Cosby’s conviction was disappointing and disheartening for survivors of sexual assault.

“Today’s majority decision regarding Bill Cosby is not only disappointing but worrying in that it may discourage those seeking justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system from reporting or participating in the prosecution of the perpetrator. or may force a victim to choose between filing either a criminal or civil action.

Victoria valentino

Victoria valentino
Victoria Valentino accused Cosby of raping her in the 1960s.

“I’m outraged! Outraged! Stunned! My stomach is knotted. The work we have done to raise women has been undone by a legal issue. We now have a serial predator on the street,” she said. .

Valentino said the announcement came from left field and she described it as a punch.

“What does that say about the worth of a woman?” The value of a woman? Do our lives mean nothing? All the lives he damaged, let alone our children and the way we respond to our children and our personal relationships. It has impacted the lives of well over 60 women. ”

Valentino went on to say that when Cosby’s guilty verdict fell three years ago, she and other accusers – as well as the victims of other powerful men, such as Harvey Weinstein – felt justified.

“So here we are, back to square one,” she said.

Janice Baker Kinney

Janice Baker Kinney
Janice Baker-Kinney accused Cosby of giving her pills and raping her in the 1980s.

She told CNN affiliate WPVI-TV that it takes some time for her to absorb the news of Cosby’s release.

“I’m stunned, I’m shocked and my stomach is in a knot,… Legal ease can turn this around when so many people have come forward.… This serial rapist can come home today is just amazing to me,” she said.

Lisa Bloom, lawyer for Cosby’s accusers

Lisa bloom

Lisa Bloom told CNN’s Ana Cabrera that she was “disgusted and shocked” by the decision.

“The jury heard all the evidence, considered it all, condemned him, and now that that day has arrived, I just think it’s a slap in the face for all the victims,” ​​said Bloom, one of the attorneys. .

“I’m glad he served a little time,” she said, but it was “just a very small measure of the justice he should have received.”

Bloom said she thought Wednesday was “going to be a very difficult day. I think it will be a trigger event for anyone who testified that he drugged and raped them.”

She also tweeted and told CNN that Cosby’s release shows the criminal justice system favors the rich and powerful.

“And it shows that if you have the money and the power in the criminal justice system and you can afford lawyers to fight and fight for years and years, you might end up finding a loophole and a way to get a conviction overturned, and that’s what happened here, ”Bloom said.

Gloria Allred, lawyer for Cosby’s accusers

Gloria allred

In a statement obtained by CNN, attorney Gloria Allred said the following:

“This decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court today to overturn Bill Cosby’s conviction must be devastating to Bill Cosby’s accusers. My heart goes especially to those who courageously testified in his two criminal cases. I represented Majority of Prior Bad Deeds Despite the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling, this was an important fight for justice and even though the court overturned the conviction on technical grounds, it did not justify the conduct of Bill Cosby and should not be construed as a statement or conclusion that he did not do the acts alleged against him.

CNN’s Eric Levenson, Sonia Moghe, Ray Sanchez, and Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.

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