Cosby was released after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction, saying his rights to due process were violated in the first major case of the #MeToo era. Cosby tweeted a photo of himself on Wednesday night and thanked his supporters. The reaction of prosecutors and their attorneys to Wednesday’s announcement is in stark contrast to the excitement many of them felt in 2018 when the comedian was convicted of three counts of aggravated assault and drugged and abused Andrea Constand in 2004 in his House in suburban Philadelphia. Constand was the central figure in Cosby’s criminal trial three years ago. She testified that Cosby drugged and assaulted her in his home in 2004.
Constand and her lawyers said Wednesday’s decision to overturn Cosby’s conviction was disappointing and discouraging for sexual assault survivors.
“Today’s majority vote on Bill Cosby is not only disappointing but also worrying as it may discourage those seeking justice in the criminal justice system for sexual assault from reporting the perpetrator, participating in law enforcement, or forcing a victim can choose between filing either a criminal or a civil lawsuit. “
Patricia Leary Tax
Steuer accused Cosby of attacking her in the late 1970s and said he offered to help her pursue a singing career.
She told CNN on Wednesday that Cosby’s release made her sad and that it was a loss for both her and the other women who came forward.
“In the end, more than 63 of us got in touch,” said Steuer. “I wonder what the purpose of the 43 years of this ordeal and trauma I had and the trauma my family suffered from it was.”
“I’m reassured that we did our best because we came forward and told the truth. In the end, that was the only power we had in this situation.”
Steuer also said she was angry with the criminal justice system.
“I’m also pissed off that the laws of the system are designed to favor powerful and wealthy people, and in this particular case a powerful and wealthy man, and that has to change,” she said.
“I hope this won’t discourage people. It’s a discouraging message for sexual assault survivors,” Steuer said. “I hope it won’t, because in the end all you can do is come forward and tell the truth.”
Victoria Valentino accused Cosby of raping her in the 1960s.
“I am outraged! Outraged! Stunned! My stomach is cramped. The work we have done to raise women has been ruined by a mistake in law. We have a serial robber on the street now, ”she said.
Valentino said the announcement came from left field and she described it as a belly blow.
“What does that say about a woman’s worth? A woman’s worth? Does our life mean nothing? All of the lives he’s damaged, not to mention our children and how we react to our children and personal relationships, are well over 60 women. ”
Valentino went on to say that she and other accusers – as well as victims of other powerful men like Harvey Weinstein – felt vindicated when Cosby was found guilty three years ago.
“So here we are back to point one,” she said.
Janice Baker-Kinney accused Cosby of giving her pills and raping her in the 1980s.
She told CNN subsidiary WPVI-TV that it would take some time to record the news of Cosby’s release.
“I’m stunned, I am shocked and my stomach cramped … A legal relief can ruin this when so many people have contacted me. … This serial rapist, who is allowed to go home today, is simply stunning for me. ” She said.
Cosby prosecutor says overturned conviction does not render him innocent
Lisa Bloom, attorney for the Cosby Prosecutors
Lisa Bloom told CNN’s Ana Cabrera that she was “disgusting and shocked” by the verdict.
“The jury heard all the evidence, considered everything, convicted him, and now that that day has come I think it’s a slap in the face for all victims,” said Bloom, one of the lawyers.
“I’m glad he got some punishment,” she said, but it was only “a tiny, tiny amount of justice that he should have received.”
Bloom said she thought Wednesday would be “a very tough day. I think it will be another event for everyone who testified that he drugged and raped them.”
She also tweeted, telling CNN that Cosby’s release shows that the criminal justice system favors the rich and powerful.
“And it just goes to show that if you have money and power in the criminal justice system and you can afford lawyers to fight and fight for years, you will eventually find a loophole and a way to overturn a conviction, and that’s what happened here “said Bloom.
Gloria Allred, attorney for the Cosby Prosecutors
In a statement received from CNN, attorney Gloria Allred said the following:
“Today’s Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision to overturn Bill Cosby’s conviction must be devastating to Bill Cosby’s prosecutors. My heart goes out especially to those who courageously testified in both of his criminal cases. Despite the decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, this was an important struggle for justice, and although the court overturned the conviction on technical grounds, it did not justify Bill Cosby’s behavior and should not be interpreted as a statement or statement that he was the one charged Did not commit deeds. “
CNN’s Eric Levenson, Sonia Moghe, Ray Sanchez and Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.