Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyer says his client should be freed from prison in the wake of Bill Cosby’s release.
''The Pennsylvania Supreme Court did the right thing when it threw out Bill Cosby’s convictions because prosecutors cheated: They promised Cosby that they would not prosecute him if he would testify in the civil cases against him; based on that promise, Cosby testified and did not invoke his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent,'' David Oscar Markus wrote in the New York Daily News.
''Prosecutors then broke their promise and used Cosby’s statements in those depositions to win a conviction against him.''
Cosby’s sexual assault conviction was overturned Wednesday by Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. The 83-year-old served three years of a 3-to-10 year sentence after being found guilty of drugging and violating Temple University sports administrator Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.
But the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that District Attorney Kevin Steele, who made the decision to arrest Cosby, was obligated to stand by his predecessor’s promise not to charge Cosby. There was no evidence that promise was ever put in writing.
Justice David Wecht, writing for a split court, said Cosby had relied on the former district attorney's decision not to charge him when the comedian gave his potentially incriminating testimony in Constand’s civil case.
The court called Cosby's arrest ''an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was forgone for more than a decade.''
Markus applauded the move, saying if ''a prosecutor promises something, he should be bound by his word — just like the rest of us.''
''When they make a promise, they have to stick to it,'' he added.
The reasoning, he said, ''applies directly to Ghislaine Maxwell’s case'' because ''Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty and struck a bargain with the prosecutors in Miami: In exchange for pleading guilty in state court, the U.S. attorney’s office agreed that it would not prosecute any of his alleged co-conspirators.''
Maxwell is accused of sex trafficking a minor, transporting a minor for the purposes of criminal sexual activity and conspiring to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
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