After several attempts, the jurors in the Bill Cosby trial failed to reach a unanimous decision forcing Norristown (Pennsylvania) judge O’Neill to declare a mistrial. The jury consisted of five women and seven men (four white women, six white men, one black woman and one black man).
Cosby was facing three charges of aggravated indecent assault in a case brought forth by one accuser, Andrea Constand. Dozens of women whose encounters with Bill Cosby were past the Statute of Limitations and could not be prosecuted, reported extremely similar rape methods used by the entertainer. Cosby lured the women he wanted to have sex with into one-on-one meetings, offered them drinks and drugged them. (In a prior civil deposition, Bill Cosby admitted that he obtained Quaaludes, a powerful hypnotic drug, to give it to women with whom he intended to have sex. Incidentally, an overdose of Quaaludes can cause coma and death.) Most of the women accusing Cosby of sexual misconduct reported losing control over their bodies, losing their ability to speak and waking up later, raped.
Immediately after the mistrial was declared, clearly relieved Bill Cosby thanked the jury and wished all fathers Happy Father’s Day. His wife Camille vented her anger at the judge, prosecutors and media in a statement read by Cosby’s spokeswoman.
The prosecutors announced that the case will be retried. Gloria Allred, the attorney representing many of Bill Cosby’s accusers, said she hopes that at the next trial the court will allow other women harmed by Cosby in the past to testify.
Andrea Constand – who was raped by Cosby – and her mother, Gianna Constand – to whom Cosby apologized for the rape of her daughter and offered to make amends by paying for Andrea’s education – were unmoved by the mistrial.
Here is our take: women don’t talk about being raped. There is a huge social and self-imposed stigma accompanying rape. Being raped is perceived as a failure and a loss. Rape victims are often blamed for being raped. Rape victims are often seen as “damaged goods”. Most cases of rape are not reported. The prosecution of rape cases is rarely successful.
Here are statistics on rape in the United States provided by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.
According to various sources 1 in 3 women has been – or is – sexually harassed at work. A women promoted by her rapist will not report the rape…. (Why are we mentioning sexual harassment? Most of Bill Cosby’s accusers were lured into uncomfortable situations with him by career / business-related promises.)
Just to be clear, like the majority of Americans I too used to be a Bill Cosby fan. I didn’t want to believe that the symbol of American fatherhood could be a rapist. Still, if over 50 women came forward (permanently destroying their reputations!) and accused Bill Cosby of rape, Statute of Limitations aside: Bill Cosby is a rapist. (Over 50 women were brave enough to come forward, one wonders how many other women didn’t come forward!)
Bill Cosby is a terrific actor who made us all believe that he is a great man. As a human being, Bill Cosby is a predator who used his celebrity and power for sexual gratification assuming that his status as “America’s Favorite Dad” will keep him immune from prosecution. So far he’s been right. In the court of public opinion however – especially, female public opinion! – there is no doubt. His social / financial status, age and disabilities are NOT mitigating circumstances in a case of rape.
Cosby’s own past admission that he obtained Quaaludes to get “his way” with women of his choice confirms that all his accusers’ accounts of their experiences with Cosby are TRUTHFUL.
A mistrial? Give me a break! Even Fox News cleaned the house and got rid of Bill O’Reilly and his former boss Roger Ailes! Either some member of the Norristown jury is a major Bill Cosby fan, really needed money or is a rape-denier. Don’t believe me? Ask ANY woman!
Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Entertainment Editor, I. Sturm