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'What message is that sending?': Castle Rock woman, Cosby accuser, speaks about overturned conviction

Heidi Thomas says she was drugged and raped by Cosby in 1984.
Castle Rock woman, Cosby accuser, speaks about overturned conviction
Posted at 10:22 PM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 14:02:03-04

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Heidi Thomas said she's found forgiveness for the man that raped her years ago, but struggles to forgive what she calls "enablers" in the situation.

"I let go of any anger, that kind of thing years ago," Thomas said. "I do hold anger for the enablers."

Thomas, based in Castle Rock, was one of the first to testify during Bill Cosby's retrial in 2018.

She said Cosby preyed on her dreams of a Hollywood career and turned them into turmoil.

In 1984, Thomas was 24 years old and an aspiring actress. She said when her agent sent her to meet with Cosby for coaching, he drugged and raped her.

"I have like this snapshot that's very graphic. There are sexual assaults, as you know, and there are degrees. And mine was rape," Thomas said.

Now, nearly 40 years later, Thomas said she's left questioning the decision made by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

On Wednesday the Court overturned Cosby's sex conviction.

"We know he's guilty, but as far as I'm concerned, as of today, the justices that have made this decision have just enabled a criminal to go without a consequence. What message is that sending to other victims? To other perpetrators? And this is one case, but the precedent they have just set is devastating," Thomas said.

Denver7 spoke with a legal expert about the Court's decision.

"What this really comes down to is that the prior prosecutor made a very public announcement of an agreement that he'd had with Cosby's defense team to not pursue criminal prosecution of a case he believed was weak," said George Brauchler, the former District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District in Colorado. "The fact is that Bill Cosby's defense team relied entirely on the representations of the then district attorney, that he was not going to proceed with criminal prosecution [that was] the basis for not invoking their Fifth Amendment right to silence when they got deposed on the civil case."

Brauchler went on to explain, "So then he [Cosby] gets to deposed in the civil case, it proceeds forward and there's a settlement, some kind of justice turns out of that. Then a new prosecutor shows up and says, 'No, I disagree, and not only am I going to prosecute you, I'm going to use that deposition that you did not have to give ...had there been a criminal prosecution ...'I'm gonna use that against you'"

Brauchler added, "What this came down to for the Supreme Court was a real sense of not just fairness, but of constitutional unfairness. In fact, the words they used are important, they called this an unconstitutional bait and switch'. That's how we ended up here today. It doesn't change the verdict that the jury found, but it means that verdict is irrelevant. I do think the big losers here are the victims. I don't think anybody doubts for a moment that Bill Cosby did exactly what he was accused of. He's [now] innocent in the eyes of the law, but he's not innocent in the eyes of everybody that knows the facts of this. I just think it's ridiculous now that he's in a position to go back and recover taxpayer dollars that might have otherwise been spent on education or public safety or something. [I believe] he's going to go seek those dollars for what was taken from him."