HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court angered many in the legal community two weeks ago when it allowed convicted sex abuser Bill Cosby to walk free. The high court’s Chief Justice, Max Baer, explained the ruling this week in Pennsylvania, but his comments have fallen flat.
“What we said is we’re not gonna let the Commonwealth the State through the District Attorneys to engage in that kind of reprehensible bait and switch, and that’s not to protect Bill Cosby, nobody is sympathetic to Bill Cosby, that’s to protect 13 million Pennsylvanians against that kind of conduct,” Baer said.
Chief Justice Baer raised his eyebrows when he said this on our show about Montgomery county’s decision to prosecute Bill Cosby even though a previous DA promised he wouldn’t go after him criminally if Cosby testified in a civil case.
Montgomery County D.A., Kevin Steele, heard the reprehensible bait and switch comment and issued a statement of his own, calling Baer’s comments fuel on a fire and misinformation.
“To be very clear, prosecutors, in this case, did not believe there was an agreement not to prosecute or immunity for the defendant at the time we moved forward on the case, and we do not believe it now,” Steel said.
They note there was no written record of a deal between Castor and Cosby, and a two-day trial on that very issue found there was no prior agreement and the case could move forward. Cosby’s team appealed that to the Supreme Court, which refused to take it up then.
However, a majority of the high court now believes there was a deal, prosecutors reneger on it and therefore, Cosby should go free. Painful as that might be.
“We certainly didn’t find Bill Cosby not guilty or find him innocent what we found was what the state did was inappropriate,” Baer said.
In Steele’s 2005 press release, he announced that he would not prosecute Bill Cosby. Bruce Castor made no mention of a deal.