Bill Cosby Not Getting Early Prison Release Over Coronavirus Crisis; Violent Offenders “Not Eligible”

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Already behind bars for over a year and a half for the 2004 rape of Andrea Constand, the coronavirus pandemic won’t see Bill Cosby getting an early release any time soon.

“Mr. Cosby is not eligible for release under Gov. Wolf’s order since he was convicted of a violent offense (aggravated indecent assault) and was deemed a Sexually Violent Predator,” said Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Kate Delano today as Pennsylvania began letting convicts out to reduce further spread of COVID-19 in state prisons. “So for both of those reasons, he would not be eligible to be released,” Delano added.

Despite the ongoing desires of Cosby’s representatives to see the man once known as “America’s Dad” back in his suburban Philadelphia home, the Keystone State’s Department of Corrections also confirmed what the office of the D.A. who put him away asserted. “Based on the criteria exempting sex offenders and knowing the highly publicized case he would not qualify,” a DOC spokesperson told Deadline on Thursday.

Found guilty in an April 2018 retrial and sentenced to up to 10 years incarceration in September of that year, the widely accused Cosby has unsuccessfully tried repeatedly to get his case tossed, appealed or the judgment reversed for his sexual assault of the ex-Temple University employee. Late last month, Cosby’s team said that they “were exploring all legal actions” to have their 82-year old client released as states all over the stay-at-home nation are letting out imprisoned seniors and others with relevant status or at risk for COVID-19.

Earlier this week, PA Gov. Tom Wolf started signed orders for prisoners to be let out after issuing an executive order on April 10. The legally blind Cosby is housed at the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix, which has nearly 20 inmates as confirmed coronavirus cases. Today, nine prisoners at the facility were released as concerns rise of more infections to come.

Bill Cosby was not among them because the officially labeled sexual predator’s violent offender status, as state authorities said.

“What you heard is absolutely correct,” the comedian’s longtime publicist & crisis manager Andrew Wyatt admitted to Deadline today of Cosby’s status and how that renders him ineligible for Gov. Wolf’s Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration. “But, with the surge of the COVID-19 plague and its effects on the health of the elderly, people of color and the fact that Mr. Cosby doesn’t have the luxury of social distancing (due to his blindness) — makes him a candidate to be released and remanded to house arrest,” Wyatt added.

Earlier Thursday, Wyatt released a statement proclaiming “our legal team will not be filing a petition until we see how Governor Wolf’s executive order will be implemented.”

Sources:

The Wrap: Bill Cosby Ineligible for Pennsylvania’s Early Prison Release Program Amid Pandemic

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