Cosby pays the bill

Cosby+pays+the+bill

Tim Powers

Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison on Sept. 25 for the drugging and raping of Andrea Constand.

Cosby, known for his turn as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” was found guilty on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault in April 2018, as reported by ABC News. In addition, as part of the sentence, Judge Steven O’Neill has declared him a “violent sexual predator.”

Cosby was charged in December 2015 after drugging and raping Constand in 2004. The first attempt at a trial ended in a mistrial due to the jury not being able to reach a verdict. The case has been a long uphill battle for prosecutors and those seeking justice for the victims.

[media-credit name=”Photo Courtesy of wikimedia commons” align=”alignright” width=”397″][/media-credit]The response to the actor’s downfall has been mixed. Some, including victims themselves, wonder why it took so long for people to believe the women coming out.

In 2014, Barbara Bowman wrote a piece for The Washington Post, which headlined “Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?”

Many on social media were ecstatic to see Cosby pay for his actions.

Ex-ESPN host, Jemele Hill, said on Twitter: “Sure, I mourn the idea of Cosby – as in the TV show that made me want to attend a black college and heightened the importance of a black family. But my mom is a rape survivor and I survived a rape attempt as a preteen. I have negative fucks about what happens to Cosby.”

Actress, Amber Tamblyn, had a different view of the sentencing. Tamblyn was critical of the length Cosby was sentenced to, saying on Twitter, “Bill Cosby has been sentenced to three to 10 years for drugging and sexually assaulting many women over the course of many years. His survivors have been sentenced to a lifetime of brutal memories and trauma for daring to exist in the first place. Super fair I guess”

According to Constand and other victims, the criminal trial that began in 2015 was not the first time allegations were brought up against Cosby.

In 2005, Constand filed a criminal complaint with police and Cosby was promptly investigated. However, the case was dropped by police. Despite this, Constand filed a civil suit against the actor. Cosby would end up settling out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Cosby was well regarded by the public previously, winning multiple Emmy’s for his shows. Since then, many organizations have severed ties with Cosby; multiple networks, including TV Land, refuse to air reruns of his various shows. In addition, Cosby’s various honorary degrees from universities have since been revoked, as reported by Vulture.

In October 2014, comedian Hannibal Buress alluded to the sexual assault accusations in a comedy show. Following the stand-up show, the set went viral leading to multiple women coming forward. Those women coming forward said Cosby sexually assaulted them.

In total, 60 women came out against Cosby. The accusations ranged from the earliest in the 1960’s up to 2008. Many women claimed that Cosby drugged them. There were also alleged incidents of child sexual abuse. Two girls that came forward were 15 years old when the circumstance occurred. In terms of criminal charges, only the case of Andrea Constand went forward in court because most of the alleged cases occurred after the statute of limitations had expired. This was reported in a timeline of the events by ABC News.

Despite many of the women having a similar story, as well as evidence of their violent encounters with Cosby told to police, the actor strongly denies the accounts of all the women.

Cosby’s team made the following statement on his website: “Over the past several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Bill Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.”

Cosby has, however, admitted to sexual relationships with some of the women, but stressed that all sexual encounters were consensual. In Constand’s case, she contends that the actor invited her to his house where he gave her pills to relax because of her anxiety. Afterwards, Cosby touched and penetrated her, according to Constand herself who testified as to this in court, according to CNN.

The downfall of the man who was once revered as “America’s Dad,” comes at a time in society where it is harder for men to get away with sexual violence. In recent months, with the rise of the #MeToo movement, many men have seen the end of their careers when people came out alleging sexual misconduct. This includes a list of once highly respected entertainers such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Dr. Luke and many more.

In the time leading up to the sentencing of Cosby, it has been a tough road for many women who want to see a sexual predator pay for the crimes he has committed. It has been a long time coming for many women who haven’t seen justice against their rapist. Cosby will serve his sentence at SCI Phoenix in Pennsylvania, a maximum security prison.