LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — Actress Phylicia Rashad took to social media Wednesday with a strong reaction to the news that her former costar, Bill Cosby, was being released from prison after his sexual assault conviction was overturned.
"FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!" Rashad tweeted.
The 73-year-old Rashad, who played Clair Huxtable on the long-running "The Cosby Show," has long stood by Cosby throughout the slew of sexual assault allegations against him.
Back in January of 2015, in response to a question about the multiple women were accusing Cosby of sexual assault, Rashad responded, "Forget these women. What you are seeing is the destruction of a legacy, and it's a legacy that is so important to the culture."
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Wednesday overturned Cosby's sex assault conviction after finding an agreement with a previous prosecutor prevented him from being charged in the case.
Cosby has served more than two years of a three- to 10-year sentence at a state prison near Philadelphia. He had vowed to serve all 10 years rather than acknowledge any remorse over the 2004 encounter with accuser Andrea Constand.
The 83-year-old Cosby was convicted of drugging and molesting the Temple University employee at his suburban estate.
He was charged in late 2015, when a prosecutor armed with newly unsealed evidence — Cosby's damaging deposition from her lawsuit — arrested him days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.
The trial judge had allowed just one other accuser to testify at Cosby's first trial, when the jury deadlocked. However, he then allowed five other accusers to testify at the retrial about their experiences with Cosby in the 1980s.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that testimony tainted the trial, even though a lower appeals court had found it appropriate to show a signature pattern of drugging and molesting women.
Prosecutors did not immediately say if they would appeal or seek to try Cosby for a third time.
The justices voiced concern not just about sex assault cases, but what they saw as the judiciary's increasing tendency to allow testimony that crosses the line into character attacks. The law allows the testimony only in limited cases, including to show a crime pattern so specific it serves to identify the perpetrator.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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