Bill Cosby is a free man.
On Wednesday, Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned the disgraced comedian’s sexual assault conviction after it found that an agreement with a previous prosecutor prevented him from being charged in the case, according to the Associated Press. Cosby was released from prison later the same day.
Cosby released a statement following the decision: “I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence. Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law.”
The overturned conviction comes more than three years after Cosby was first convicted in April 2018. Later that year, he was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison for three counts of sexual assault. He was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault after being accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in his Philadelphia home in 2004, and was registered for life as a sexually violent predator.
Cosby, who is now 83 years old, previously vowed to serve out his 10-year sentence rather than express remorse over the 2004 encounter with Constand. He has spent the last two years imprisoned at the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix in Philadelphia, Pa.
Though the trial that convicted Cosby only addressed Constand’s allegations, the Cosby Show star had faced allegations of similar assaults from more than 60 women, five of whom testified at the trial. Cosby’s defense argued that the encounter with Constand was consensual, but the actor declined to take the witness stand and testify on his own behalf.
An earlier attempt to prosecute Cosby ended in a mistrial June 2017, after the jury failed to reach a verdict. At the time, the local district attorney’s office vowed to retry the case. Constand also sued Cosby in civil court in 2005, receiving an undisclosed cash settlement the following year.