The Cosby Show of the 1980's ran for years and it was a un, family show, Before that, he was in, I Spy, a late 1960's drama involving a black and white partnership, quite revolutionary at the time. But even before that, Cosby, was a renowned, hilarious, standup comedian, his most memorable was , Fat Albert, but he had many that were released as LP's (records) and sold well (amazingly because it was just recordings o his live shows).
Being young and successful brought him worldwide fame and power. He would pick a woman to seduce, invite her to his or her place, and while not looking, he would drug them using Qualudes (a popular drug for relaxing then). Once the woman was out of it, he would basically rape them without their knowledge. They would wake up in a daze and Crosby would pretend the se they had was consensual. He was a predator based upon the over 20 women that had come forward with claims that has the same MO. However, only ONE, had enough proof to take him to trial where he LOST.
The Jury found him guilty 100%. He was sentenced but since was in 80's by the time all of this had caught up with him (despite years of denial), he was serving time behind bars to a more limited amount.
During the DA's prosecution, the DA seemed to have made a deal with Cosby. The deal was that if Cosby provided the prosecution with admissions and details of these cases (admitting guilt, which he did), the DA would not prosecute him. This happened before much was known, before Cosby was charged for anything and still in the investigation of allegations stage. It is unclear whether this promise was just oral or in written form but any attorney will tell you that any oral contract between two parties is always a BAD idea should it go to court. According to Cosby, there was an agreement of the minds, so he confessed and provided details.
Afterwards, the DA simply could not charge Cosby with rape of the one case due to evidence. There was so much rage and public anger towards Cosby, not charging Cosby would seem like gross negligence or corruption.
As it happened, Cosby was charged and convicted. But, on Appeal, his defense team explained to the Court as to what the DA had promised in exchange for Cosby's testimony. The Appeal Court decided that there had been an agreement and that the DA then broke it by charging him and using his testimony to hang himself (without it, even the first case might had failed).
So, the rape conviction for the ONE case was vacated and Cosby was set free after three years in prison. It DID NOT vacate or clear Cosby of guilt in the crime and was clear about it. The Court indicated that the one case that put Cosby in jail could not occur again or retrial BUT other valid cases that DA could go forward.
So, Cosby still is a guilty man and everyone knows it, his own testimony is graphic and disturbing. It was the DA that broke a contract that got Cosby free.