Bill Cosby Convicted On Sexual Assault Charges
By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published on April 26, 2018
For five decades, Bill Cosby lured young, unsuspecting, and vulnerable women into his private world of Hollywood fame and then drugged and sexually assaulted them with impunity. Cosby was a rich and powerful man who used his fame to evade justice for his criminal actions.
At the end of the day, Bill Cosby was nothing more than a slick sexual predator who drugged his prey before having non-consensual sex with them.
We knew Bill Cosby as a wonderful actor and comedian who entertained us for decades. His TV shows and films portrayed black America in a positive light. His philanthropic gestures to Spelman College and a host of other historically black institutions of higher education are admirable, but they do not sanitize his sexual assault crime spree.
Today, Bill Cosby is a convicted felon and certified sexual abuser. Accuser Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, courageously pursued criminal charges against Cosby through two trials. She alleged that Cosby drugged and molested her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia.
Guilty verdicts on all three counts were delivered this afternoon in Cosby’s sexual assault retrial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania. More than 60 women have accused the 80-year-old-entertainer of sexual assault. Five of them testified during Cosby's retrial.
The sheer number of sexual assault allegations and the striking similarity of the incidents reported were damning. In the legal arena, we call repeated instances of the same conduct a “pattern and practice” of behavior. This evidence is more convincing than a single episode of sexual abuse.
Throughout Cosby’s two trials, his criminal defense lawyers only made matters worse by issuing insensitive denials as though they were on the scene of each incident. They also re-victimized Cosby’s victims by trashing their reputations and character.
Cosby will be sentenced at a future date. He can be sentenced for up to 10 years on each of the three guilty verdicts. Cosby will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
After the guilty verdicts were announced, Cosby called Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele an “asshole” in the courtroom. This outburst was prompted by Steele’s request that Cosby’s bond be revoked. The trial judge denied Steele’s request.
At 80-years-old, Cosby needs to sunset his life with an outburst of truthfulness. He should come forward, take ownership of his reprehensible behavior, apologize to each of his female victims by name, and ask for their forgiveness. The pathway forward for Bill Cosby is sincere atonement, not ineffective PR denials by highly paid mouthpieces.
Locally, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama Sheriff Ron Abernathy, former Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Lyn Head, current Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb, and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall need to pay special attention to how strong and effective law enforcement officials like Kevin Steele and his staff handle sexual assault cases against rich and powerful rape suspects. They prosecute these suspects and win guilty verdicts under the most difficult of circumstances.
I really wish a fearless prosecutor like Kevin Steele had handled University of Alabama honors student Megan Rondini’s 2005 rape case against Terry Jackson “Sweet T” Bunn, Jr. If a real prosecutor like Steele had been the district attorney in Tuscaloosa when Megan's rape case was reported to Sheriff Abernathy, she would be alive today and criminal justice would have been pursued in her rape case.
Bill Cosby’s case proves that it is never too late to pursue criminal justice in sexual assault cases. All it takes is a sheriff or prosecutor who is not afraid of rich, powerful, and famous rape suspects.