Bill Cosby’s conviction isn’t related to the #MeToo movement

In Opinion
Six hands pointing fingers at Bill Cosby.

America’s former favorite TV dad, Bill Cosby, wasn’t convicted on three accounts of assault because of the #MeToo movement. He was convicted by a jury after it found him guilty of drugging an employee from Temple University, Andrea Constand, who he had mentored and then engaged in nonconsensual sexual acts.

The recent conviction was no surprise since over 50 women had previously accused Cosby of sexual misconduct. However, his wife Camille Cosby disagrees completely.

Camille Cosby said she believes the increased biased media coverage and mob justice contributed to an unfair trial, despite the fact Bill Cosby admitted to philanderous behavior and coercing women into sexual situations.

Although the trial proved to be difficult, as a majority of cases with accusations of sexual assault are, a mob mentality had nothing to do with it.

Cases involving high profile people like celebrities or politicians can be very difficult for the plaintiff to win because they are usually based on he said, she said arguments rather than conclusive evidence. The jury generally believes the plaintiff is telling the truth and that the defendant had poor intent.

The Bill Cosby case is monumental in the fact that it is one of the first few major convictions involving sexual misconduct since the #MeToo movement gained traction. Another major conviction that followed the movement was former U.S. Olympics gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar, whose abuse was horrifyingly widespread.

In 2005, Bill Cosby admitted during a deposition testimony to obtaining quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women to have sex. Quaaludes are a sleep-inducing drug that have been banned in the U.S. since 1984.

Having the intent to drug women, young women specifically, shows malicious intent on Bill Cosby’s behalf. If he had not admitted this, it would have been a lot harder for the women to prove their stories.

Although some may believe the women who accused Bill Cosby of assault were doing so for attention, this undermines the circumstances of the case.

First of all, over 50 women made accusations against Bill Cosby, most of whom did not testify in the trial. Only five women were allowed to testify in the trial.

Second of all, how many women’s names do people actually remember? Nobody really paid attention to the names, which shows they weren’t looking for attention.

Coming forward with sexual assault cases has always been a hard journey and most women avoid reporting assault out of fear of receiving negative attention.

From 2005 to 2010, 20 percent of survivors in the U.S. did not report sexual assault out of fear of retaliation, while 13 percent believed the police would not do anything to help, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

This case is a step forward for survivors of sexual assault to prove that justice can be achieved. The process may be long and taxing, but it only takes one person coming forward to bring down a repetitive cycle of abuse.

Although the #MeToo movement has progressively provided an outlet for survivors of sexual abuse to speak out, it is not the cause of Bill Cosby’s reputational demise.

In fact, it’s hard to believe that America’s dad could be charged for such heinous crimes, but because so many women did open up about their experiences with Bill Cosby, it’s clear that this wasn’t just one misunderstanding, it was a malicious pattern.

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