Approximately 60 women in total have accused the disgraced comedian of rape, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct, and eight of them sat down for an interview on NBC News this week to share how they feel about his conviction being overturned. Two of the interviewees previously testified against Cosby.
“I’m angry at the legal system. We put our necks on the line and then the legal system yanked the rug out from under us,” Victoria Valentino told the outlet.
On June 30, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby’s conviction, for which he had spent approximately three years behind bars. It was argued that testimony from further accusers in the retrial had “tainted” the proceedings, despite a lower court finding said testimony showed Cosby’s pattern of sexually abusive behavior. Despite his convinction being overturned, it does not mean he was found innocent. In fact, Cosby admitted to drugging women with the use of prescription drugs during a testimony in 2015.
“I’m feeling frustrated,” said accuser Marcella Tate. “And upset because I feel like a bully has been let go.”
The group of women expressed concern that the overturning of the conviction would disparage victims of sexual assault. “They will have that attitude of ‘why bother?’” said Barbara Bowman.
Following Cosby’s release, his representative Andrew Wyatt called the moment “justice for Black America,” but accuser Lili Bernard has maintained “this is not about race, it’s about rape.”
Bernard added, “The only place that race plays into this is the fact that Bill Cosby was disproportionately targeting Black women.”
“He was not proclaimed innocent,” Janice Baker-Kinney said. “They didn’t say he wasn’t guilty. He’ll never be innocent. And I think those of us in our sisterhood need to hold on to that.”
Watch the interview above.