Geraldo Rivera approved of Bill Cosby's release from prison after "grotesquely unfair" proceedings, adding that Harvey Weinstein may be next.
Rivera, an attorney, said he wrote a note to himself in 2018 describing Cosby as a "sexual predator who left a trail of human misery and despair" while predicting that "his conviction will be overturned" because the judge "went way over the line in allowing unrelated victim testimony."
"What they did to this guy was mob justice," he said on Fox News's America Reports with John Roberts and Sandra Smith. "First of all, the former state [district attorney] promised that they would not bring a criminal case against him if he testified in a civil deposition. That was an express agreement that he had with the former district attorney. That's No. 1. No. 2, to bring in five unrelated victims to testify against him was so grotesquely unfair that it just seemed to me that this was mob justice."
"How is he going to get back these two years that he has lost?" Rivera asked, adding, "This never should have happened."
When asked by John Roberts about how the accusers will get a sense of justice, Rivera said, "Our hearts go out to these victims."
"They should have gone to a prosecutor when their cases were ripe for justice. I am sorry that they are not getting a sense of moral fulfillment now or rehabilitation or repair for the damage that this man probably did to them, but that's not the way the criminal justice system works," he continued. "In our system, there's an accuser, there's evidence, the evidence is testified by the defense, and then, the jury or the judge rules on it. In this case, they brought in people that were unrelated to this victim. Why just five? Why not 50? Why not all 50 that you say were harmed by this monster? ... In this case, [the prosecutors] embellished [Cosby's alleged wrongdoing] in a way that was wrongful."
Cosby stood accused of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, who said that the encounter took place in 2004. Bruce Castor, known for his defense of former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial, was the district attorney of Montgomery County at the time, and he argued there was not sufficient evidence to convict Cosby on a criminal charge. He then made a deal with Cosby not to prosecute him on criminal charges in exchange for testimony in a civil proceeding.
Cosby testified against himself in the civil case, and the depositions were unsealed in 2015, prompting the new prosecutor to use them to bring criminal claims against Cosby. Two trials were held, and during the second, five accusers testified against Cosby for unrelated incidents of alleged sexual misconduct. Cosby was convicted in 2018 and sentenced to three to 10 years in prison.
On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined that the criminal conviction violated Cosby's agreement with Castor. Cosby was released, a move Rivera said could lead to similar developments in Weinstein's case.
"This will be reflected in Harvey Weinstein's appeal as well," he said. "They may be monsters. #MeToo may have exacted righteous justice in both those cases, but it's not the way the criminal justice system works. ... Bill Cosby, I tell you: You can spit on him [and] do all you want, but he was unjustly convicted, in my opinion."
Attorneys for Weinstein, who was convicted in February 2020 of first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape following a trial in Manhattan Supreme Court, filed an appeal of his 23-year sentence this April.
"Simply put, the prosecution tried Weinstein's character, not his conduct," Weinstein's lawyers wrote in the appeal.
Weinstein, whose conviction was celebrated by the #MeToo movement, also faces pending charges filed in January 2020 by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, which alleges that he raped one woman and sexually assaulted another woman over a two-day period in 2013.
Weinstein's attorneys said they were encouraged by Cosby's release.
"In reversing the conviction of Bill Cosby, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has demonstrated, once again, that no matter who a defendant may be and no matter the nature of the alleged crime, courts can be relied upon to follow the law and come to the correct decision," Juda Engelmayer, a spokesman for Weinstein, said in a statement. "This decision also reaffirms our confidence that the Appellate Division in New York will reach the similarly correct decision in Harvey Weinstein's appeal, considering the abundance of issues that cry out for a reversal."
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Original Author: Carly Roman