When “America’s Dad,” Bill Cosby, was convicted of sexual assault, shockwaves resonated throughout the country. While most of us are well aware of the “Me Too” movement, the Weinstein scandal, the Matt Lauer scandal, and the almost daily news of sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations, it was nonetheless difficult to see the “wholesome” sitcom dad convicted of such crimes. Because of the time which had elapsed since Cosby’s bad behaviors occurred, many were surprised at the conviction.
Cosby’s Decision to “Scold” Poor Blacks Led to His Eventual Conviction
According to an article in The Atlantic, if Cosby had not decided to “scold poor black Americans for their moral failures,” he might never have found himself charged with sexual assault. While more than ten women stepped forward to accuse Cosby of sexual misconduct in 2004-2005, it would take another ten years for the societal climate to be ready to take action against men in power who took advantage of women.
The Pound Cake Speech Offered Unfounded Statistics
During that time, however, Bill Cosby took poor blacks to task for concentrating on black discrimination and failing to lift themselves out of poverty. In fact, in a 2004 speech Cosby delivered to the NAACP (which was soon known as the “pound cake speech”), Cosby stated shootings of blacks were occurring for little more than a stolen piece of pound cake in their hand, yet “What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?” A number of statistics were quoted by Cosby—many of them unfounded—such as a drop-out rate of 50 percent among blacks, the black population in prison, and black men fleeing from being fathers to their children.
Allegations of Assault by “America’s Dad”
According to the article, Bill Cosby’s speech appeared to show he was much more concerned about black respectability than the prosperity of blacks in our nation. Although white conservatives and even some blacks praised the moralizing speech, in less than a year Andrea Constand would come forward, telling the world “America’s Dad” sexually assaulted her. Fourteen women soon came forward with similar allegations—a number that would grow exponentially over the next decade. Yet in 2005, many people simply found these accusations too much at odds with Cosby’s public image, therefore they simply dismissed them. Author Tom Scocca wrote, “Basically, nobody wanted to live in a world where Bill Cosby was a sexual predator.”
Depositions Unsealed by Judge
A judge eventually ruled on an AP request to unseal Constand’s 2005 depositions in July 2015—depositions which included Cosby’s acknowledgment that he used sedatives on women he chose to have sex with. The judge wrote that his decision on whether the public had a right to see these documents was swayed by Bill Cosby’s decision to present himself as a “moral paragon.” In short, Judge Robreno found that when Cosby “donned the mantle of public moralist,” he narrowed the privacy he was entitled to claim.
Pennsylvania Judge Finds Cosby Guilty
While Cosby would not be formally indicted until December 2015, his own testimony regarding drugging women had effectively already started the process in motion, and Cosby’s inability to resist telling other blacks how they should behave was a large part of what brought him down. Fast forward to 2018, when a Pennsylvania jury found Bill Cosby guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home. Cosby was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Constand, who was a Temple University employee at the time of the assault.
Cosby Lashes Out at Judge Following Conviction
In the aftermath of the “Me Too” movement, Bill Cosby’s case was the first high-profile sexual assault trial to unfold. At the time of Cosby’s conviction, the district attorney asked that his $1 million bail be revoked since Cosby has the means—and a private plane—to flee the country. This prompted an angry outburst from Mr. Cosby, who shouted out in court, “He doesn’t have a plane, you a—hole.” Judge Steven T. O’Neill said that while he did not consider Cosby a flight risk, he would be required to remain in his home until sentencing.
Cosby’s Lawyers Vow to Appeal
Each of Cosby’s felony convictions is punishable by up to ten years in state prison. Cosby’s conviction was heralded as an important breakthrough by Gloria Allred, the attorney representing many of Cosby’s accusers. Cosby’s first trial ended in a hung jury almost a year prior, and in his new trial, he did not testify in his own defense, despite claiming through his lawyers that his encounters with Ms. Constand and others were consensual, not assaults. Cosby’s lead lawyer said they will appeal the verdict, and do not believe Cosby is “guilty of anything.”
Cosby’s Attorneys Attempt to Block Testimony by Other Women
In the new trial which ended in a conviction for Cosby, an academic adviser at Temple University claimed Ms. Constand confided to her in 2004 that she could make money by “falsely claiming she had been molested by a prominent person.” Constand was paid $3.38 million in 2006 as a part of a confidential financial settlement of the civil lawsuit she filed against Bill Cosby after criminal prosecutors declined to bring charges against the entertainer. Ms. Constand denied she had ever spoken with the University adviser, and testimony from five other women who claimed to be victims of sexual assault by Bill Cosby further determined his fate, although Cosby’s attorneys attempted to block the testimony given by the women.
What Will Cosby’s Sentence Be?
The judge in Cosby’s case has the latitude to consider many factors when making a decision about the sentence. These include the effect of Cosby’s criminal behavior on public safety, any aggravating or mitigating factors in the case, and the lack of a prior criminal history. Not only will the judge determine the sentence for each count, but he will also decide whether those sentences will be served concurrently or consecutively. Many believe Cosby will be sentenced to at least some jail time, given the current climate and public attention given the case.
Contact Our Jackson Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you are arrested and charged with a sex assault crime in Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian, or anywhere in the State of Mississippi, you need to fight for your rights and protect your freedom. The best way to do this is to hire an experienced Jackson criminal defense attorney immediately.
At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys believe in fighting aggressively for our clients and we can build a defense that is designed to expose the holes in the prosecution’s case against you. Contact Coxwell & Associates today at (601) 265-7766, } or click on the button below.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.