Last September 25th, Bill Cosby was sentenced. Here, we tell you everything you need to know about the case
This Tuesday, September 25, the once-beloved comedian, Bill Cosby was sentenced from three to 10 years in prison by the Pennsylvania State Law for the rape of Andrea Constand, a former teacher at Temple University. This sentence represents the first case of conviction of a celebrity after the #MeToo movement.
Leer en español: #MeToo en las cortes: ¿Qué pasó con Bill Cosby?
Who is Bill Cosby?
He is an American comedian and actor of 81 years. Americans loved him during the 1960s and 1980s for his television appearances, for which he is best known.
His career began in the stand-up in clubs. He became famous with the series that he produced and starred: The Bill Cosby Show and The Cosby Show, which delved into the life of a middle class black family. According to La Nación, Cosby led the audience in the 80s.
Timeline of Cosby’s accusations
According to The Washington Post, in 2005, the comedian had testified in court against the accusations of Andrea Constand, for whose violation is sentenced today, that he used the sedative methaqualone with young women with whom he wanted to have sex. While Constand had already made these accusations against Cobsy and the process was already open, these statements were not known until ten years later, when the matter became public.
In June 2015, the New York Magazine released to the public the testimonies of 35 women who claimed to have been raped by Bill Cosby. It is suspected that his abuses and inappropriate behavior began in the 70s. The testimonies of these women were very similar: the comedian invited them to some acting classes in which he drugged them and then abused them sexually.
As published by the magazine, sometimes the violations were collective. For the year in which this was made public, his victims were between 20 and 80 years old and were from all occupations: actresses, waitresses, maids, students. The magazine stated that this note had required six months of investigation.
In April of this year, he was convicted of three counts of indecent assault aggravated against Andrea Constand.
What was the sentence?
Judge Steven O'Neill of Pennsylvania said the evidence against the comedian was overwhelming and said he was a violent predator. Andrea Constand, the victim, read a letter at the time of declaring in which she narrated the facts and explained the consequences that episodes of rape have left in her life.
Cosby, who has insisted on pleading not guilty, refused to testify. His wife, Camille Oliva Hanks, who, according to Vogue, has also de-legitimized the accusations, was not present. Another eight victims of the actor attended the sentence.
The comedian's lawyers requested home detention because of the defendant's age, but the judge denied this benefit as well as bail. With this, Bill Cosby was sentenced from three to ten years in prison and the judge ordered the immediate transfer of the was once "Father of America" to jail. Bill Cosby, then, left handcuffed from the court.
This is, on the one hand, a triumph for the #MeToo movement and for women in general, who can now feel inspired to denounce when they are victims of sexual abuse in the workplace, and can regain confidence in justice, at least in the State of Pennsylvania.
On the other hand, however, it is a failure, because the actor was convicted for only three counts of rape, all against Andrea Constand. It is a failure considering Cosby has complaints of more than fifty women.
The #MeToo movement was born last year with complaints to the film producer Harvey Weinstein. This inspired solidarity and empowerment among the victims, who all said me too, recognizing more and more that they were victims of the celebrity and breaking the silence.
Thus, Andrea Constand inspired many women to denounce Cosby, but today they cannot say that 'they too' received justice.
LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Rodríguez Pabón
Translated from "#MeToo en las cortes: ¿Qué pasó con Bill Cosby?"