Bill Cosby is being released from prison after the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania vacated his 2018 conviction on sexual assault charges and judgment of sentence. Victoria Valentino, one of Cosby’s accusers, told CNN she was “stunned” by the court’s decision.
Valentino said she had recently received a letter stating that Cosby’s parole was preemptively denied due to a lack of remorse and a refusal to participate in programs for abusers.
She said that when she first heard about Cosby’s release she was “shocked.” Valentino said her phone was bombarded with messages from media, loved ones and survivors.
“For this to come out of left field is — it’s a gut punch,” Valentino said. “There’s no other way to describe it.”
Valentino said the decision sends Cosby’s accusers “back to square one.”
“What does that say about a woman’s worth? A woman’s value? Do our lives mean nothing? All of the lives that he damaged,” Valentino said. “I’m infuriated. I’m shaking.”
Valentino told CNN this decision is especially disappointing since the women who accused Cosby kickstarted the #MeToo movement and encouraged other women to find their voices.
“Because we spoke out and we saw justice with Cosby, everyone else felt empowered and spoke out,” she said.
“This is really a sad statement about a woman’s value, a woman’s worth – what is happening right now, and we need to do something about this. I just don’t know what,” Valentino said. “I’m so stunned. My stomach is in knots.”