On September 26,2018 a Black Philanthropist, actor and comedian Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison for sexual assault charges. Bill Cosby has been the subject of highly publicized accusations of rape, drug facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, child sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct, the earliest of which were said by his accusers to have taken place in the mid-1960s. The dates of the incidents in question span from 1965 to 2008 across ten U.S. states and one Canadian province.Cosby has repeatedly denied the allegations and maintained his innocence. There have been at least 50 supposedly victims that have come forward since the story has arose on the media. Due to a delay in reporting the crimes, most of the acts fall outside of the statutes of limitations for criminal prosecution, but criminal charges were filed against Cosby in one case and numerous civil lawsuits have been brought against him. In December 2015, three Class 2 felony charges of aggravated indecent assault were filed against Cosby in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, based on allegations by Constand concerning incidents in January 2004. Cosby's first trial, in June 2017, ended in a mistrial. In a retrial by a jury, he was found guilty on April 26, 2018, of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. With all of the accusations and stories floating around about Mr Cosby, can we honestly say that the trial was fair? Lets talk about some key points and facts in this case:
1.)Andrea Constance Case-Andrea Constance is a former Canadian basketball player who said that Bill Cosby allegedly drugged, molested/raped her back in 2004. After the incident happened Constand, continued to have communication with Cosby. However, in January of 2005 Constand decide to file a criminal complaint to the police that Cosby had Sexually assaulted her. The investigation opened and closed in 2005 due to insufficient evidence and not enough credibility in statements from the witness . Constand then filed a civil suit in march of 2015 where she was paid 3.38 million dollars by Bill Cosby. the case was closed and sealed and under a confidential agreement. However, in October 2014, as part of a comedy routine, comedian Hannibal Buress alluded to covert sexual misbehavior by Cosby, which went viral, and resulted in more women coming forward to state that they were assaulted by Cosby. At that point Constand, came back forward with other women in 2015 and the case resurfaced.
2.)The Dispositionosition Letters- One of the key piece of evidence that have been all over the news is the disposition letter from 2005. According to the new coverage stories, Cosby agreed that he had given other women qualedess in the attempt to have sex with other women.Those statement are false. However, if you read the full 66 pages of the disposition, you will see the defense lawyer, and Dolores Troiani(the person interviewing/ interrogating Bill) constantly clashed with words and arguments in the middle of questioning. Is it possible that Cosby could have gotten confused about what he was being asked? In fact, he even stated that in the deposition letter that he was confused about the questions due to the arguing in the room.(click on link to read full disposition letter) https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2158445-cosby-deposition.html
4.) The Media Coverage- The media has a lot of power to control how individuals will perceive and view a situation. Reporters and journalist have the power to change your belief,reinforce, and even encourage a belief system that was never there. The Bill Cosby s story was all over the media from 2014 even up to date in 2018. In addition to the constant repetitive showing of the Cosby accusation, more and more victims came forward telling their story. The timing of this situation was also covered around the same time of the Timeup and #Metoo movement (which was originally started in 2006 by Tarana Burke).Since the media has constantly ran the story along with other stories about women who have be made victims by sexual predators is it safe to say that the public have already made up their mind that Bill Cosby was guilty before there was even a trial?
There are so many layers of information in this case that needs to be discussed like the timing of the accusations, witness statements, as well as the seriousness of sexual assault crimes. Lets talk about it! (tune in to Sunday episode on the Queen Quaymo podcast available on Itunes,Iheartradio,Google Play Music,Spotify and many more.)