Officials dispute claims Bill Cosby qualifies for prison release under coronavirus program

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Officials dispute claims Bill Cosby qualifies for prison release under coronavirus program

(NY DAILY NEWS) – Bill Cosby is ineligible for prison release under Pennsylvania’s new coronavirus reprieve program no matter what his reps claim, officials told the Daily News Thursday.

Cosby, 82, simply doesn’t qualify under the new executive order signed by Gov. Tom Wolf last week, Maria Finn of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections said.

Finn clarified Cosby’s status shortly after the comedian’s longtime spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, released a statement saying he expects his client to be “remanded to house arrest within the upcoming weeks.”

“We truly believe that Mr. Cosby will be a direct beneficiary of Governor Wolf’s executive order,” Wyatt said in the Thursday afternoon statement.

“No, based on the reprieve criteria exempting sex offenders and knowing his highly publicized case, he would NOT qualify,” Finn told The News. “I’m not sure where the publicist is getting his information.”

A spokeswoman for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office echoed the Corrections Department’s position.

“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. So for both of those reasons, he would not be eligible to be released,” DA spokeswoman Kate Delano said in a statement to The News.

Gov. Wolf’s order, signed last week, allows corrections officials to release certain vulnerable, nonviolent inmates to community corrections facilities or home confinement amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cosby was convicted in 2018 trial of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his suburban Pennsylvania mansion in 2004.

He was later sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison.

Constand made clear in a recent Twitter post that she doesn’t support his release.

“Cosby’s lawyers claim he is a perfect example of an inmate who should be exonerated and set free due to #corona,” she tweeted March 25. “Please do not believe this.”

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