In rather relieving news this Tuesday, famous actor and comedian Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault against Andrea Constand, who he had drugged and molested in 2004. Despite scores of women coming forward against Cosby in these past years, the legal battle against the 81 year old television icon proved to be difficult, with a recent case being dropped due to jury gridlock and a mistrial ruling. Cosby’s wife and defense team have been pleading for a while now for folks to drop the legal action against him, as the ailing actor has lost his vision recently and requires medical attention. Despite this, a clean trial involving Constand resulted in Cosby’s sentencing, having to pay a $25,000 fine, and 3-10 years of jail time at a state institution in Pennsylvania.
Reaction towards Cosby’s arrest have been intense, as it’s worth noting that Cosby’s arrest is the first of the actors accused in the #MeToo era to finally receive legal punishment. What started out seeming like wild allegations for many turned out to be an unfortunately true exposing of the vile behavior of a once beloved television celebrity. Tales of Cosby’s misdeeds tested the public psyche, as victim after victim came forward with similar horrible stories to tell, often involving being young, isolated, and drugged by the powerful actor before being sexually abused in some way. Cosby’s story was one of the first in this recent string of public outings of powerful Hollywood figures to be released, so for many, especially his victims who could provide nothing but witness testimony (due to the time that had lapsed) seeing a Hollywood creep finally get what they deserve is cathartic.
Cosby’s trial served as an important icepick of sorts, training the public to realize that no matter how pure a celebrity’s public image might be, that almost anyone is capable of sexual abuse, especially in Hollywood. The interesting contrast with Cosby or Weinstein’s trials, versus the recent political sex scandals for SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh is the evidence and motivation. The women coming forward against Cosby had everything to lose, facing mass scrutiny from the Black community for years as the public slowly but surely had to come to grips that what Cosby’s victims were saying was true, and that exposing Cosby’s misdeeds weren’t just motivated by a desire to smear a public figure. These women really had nothing to gain, other than justice, and it is actually admirable that they have stood strong and got a clean, legal victory, showing that nobody should be above the law in our country. The Kavanaugh trial meanwhile has been nothing but a power grab from the start, with the alleged “victims” possessing no evidence, no integrity, and most of all a clear political and power hungry motivation. With porn lawyer Michael Avenatti getting involved in the fray, it is clear that our legal system is being manipulated by political actors for disgusting means these days. That being said, it is relieving when good actually wins through our legal system, and the sentencing of Cosby is one of those moments.
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