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Bill Cosby freed from jail after sex crimes conviction overturned

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Comedian Bill Cosby has been freed from jail after a US court overturned his conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman 15 years ago on Wednesday, allowing his release from prison, in a blow to the #MeToo movement

Cosby’s convictions and judgment of sentence are vacated, and he is discharged,” the Pennsylvania Supreme Court wrote in a 79-page ruling.

The 83-year-old, shattered racial barriers with his Emmy-winning role on “I Spy” in the 1960s, and then as a dad and doctor on the hit TV series “The Cosby Show” two decades later.

But he suffered a fall from grace as allegations of sexual misconduct emerged against him, and was convicted in 2018 of assaulting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in 2004.

It was the first guilty verdict for sexual assault against a celebrity since the advent of the worldwide reckoning against sexual violence and abuse of power dubbed the #MeToo movement.

Cosby has served more than two years of a three-to-ten-year sentence for aggravated indecent assault.

It was not immediately clear when he would be released.

“We will need to receive, authenticate and review the court documents before we move forward,” a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections told AFP.

An earlier prosecution ended in a mistrial in June 2017 after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

Although more than 60 women charged that they had been victims of sexual assault by Cosby, he was tried criminally only for Constand’s assault, since the statute of limitations had expired in the other cases.

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