The Bill Cosby Cases
Bill Cosby has been the subject of publicized sexual assault allegations, with the earliest incidents allegedly taking place in the mid-1960s. He has been accused by numerous women of rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, child sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct. Assault allegations against him became more public after a stand-up routine by comedian Hannibal Buress became viral in October 2014, alluding to Cosby’s covert sexual misbehavior; thereafter, many additional claims were made. The dates of the alleged incidents have spanned from 1965 to 2008 in ten U.S. states and one Canadian province. Cosby has maintained his innocence and repeatedly denied the allegations made against him. He was asked about the allegations in November 2014 and responded, “I don’t talk about it!” He has declined to publicly discuss the accusations in interviews in the past, although he told Florida Today that “people shouldn’t have to go through that and shouldn’t answer to innuendos”.In May 2015, he said, “I have been in this business 52 years and I’ve never seen anything like this. Reality is a situation and I can’t speak.” Following the allegations, numerous organizations have severed ties with the comedian, and previously awarded honors and titles have been revoked. Reruns of The Cosby Show and other television programs featuring Cosby have also been pulled from syndication by many media organizations. Twenty-five colleges and universities have rescinded his honorary degrees. Adweek reporter Jason Lynch noted that the “media landscape has changed considerably—and has now been joined by the far-less-forgiving social media arena”. In December 2015, three Class II 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. Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault at retrial on April 26, 2018, and he faces up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine for each count, with his sentencing date being set to September 24, 2018. Cosby’s attorney, Thomas Mesereau, plans to appeal.