For the 55 women who stepped forward about Bill Cosby

Jordan A. Sprogis
Editor-in-Chief

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On Wednesday morning, Bill Cosby was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, stemming from the 2005 investigation of an alleged sexual assault that occurred with Andrea Constand.

This is the first time Cosby has been charged with anything related to sexual assault since 55 women spoke up over the past 10 years, testifying Constand’s case as they recalled their similar, nonconsensual sexual experiences with him.

If Cosby is decided guilty, it is assumed that he will be given 10 years max, but former Pennsylvania assistant district attorney Michael Skinner says it is more customary to receive a sentence of two or three years.

The internet has responded, and I’d like to answer a few questions that people have asked while they attempted to challenge the victims’ credibility.

“If it was a date rape drug, then why are these women suddenly remembering what happened?”

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Well, they’re not suddenly remembering.

13 “Jane Does” (what the court referred to them as to remain anonymity, though they are all out in public now) testified for Andrea Constrand’s allegation against Cosby in 2005 after she filed a lawsuit against him.

I was only 11 in 2005 so I certainly wasn’t keeping up with the Cosby allegation. Many of my classmates and friends probably weren’t, either. So this isn’t new news.

Cosby admitted that in the ‘60s and ‘70s he possessed Quaaludes with the intention to give them to women. Quaaludes were taken off the market in the early ‘80s but before was popular with college students, in clubs, and even used as medication due to its anesthesia effects.

“When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?” Troiani asked.

“Yes,” Cosby replied.

Quaaludes were commonly used during sexual activity because of “heightened sensitivity and lowered inhibition coupled with relaxation and euphoria.” Its slang term was “disco biscuits” because of its common use at clubs.

Its effects can include euphoria, drowsiness, reduced heart rate, increased sexual arousal, and with its heaviest doses, slurred speech and headaches. Quaaludes are similar to today’s Xanax and Valium.

No mention of memory loss or forgetfulness in side effects is mentioned with Quaaludes. If you recount each woman’s story, many of them woke up in a daze, half naked, with clear evidence that they were sexually violated.

“Why is white America trying to take down America’s iconic black TV father, who would have opened doors to the black community on TV?”

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There is so much race inequality in this world. But this is not one of those cases.

  • Woody Allen, a TV icon and alleged child molester. His stepdaughter Dylan Farrow wrote about how she was touched by him as a child and pulished it online. Though he barely suffered any repercussions by Dylan’s claims, her mother and his ex-wife, Mia Farrow, backed her up and many people are boycotting Allen’s films.
  • Jared Fogle, a Subway franchise icon who owned child pornography and participated in child sex acts. Subway doesn’t air his commercials anymore and he now faces 15 years in prison.
  • Josh Duggar, a religious, family-valued TV personality who engaged in extramarital affairs. The Duggars lost their TV show, Josh is under a ton of scrutiny, and is now in some sex rehab.
  • Jerry Sandusky, beloved Penn State assistant football coach with 14 counts of child sex crimes. Despite the public’s outrage, Sandusky faces 30 years minimum and 60 years maximum in prison.

All lost their credibility.

Bill Cosby, if found guilty, will receive 10 years max, though the former district attorney aforementioned says it’s more likely that he will receive two or three years.

This is not a question of race. This is a man who allegedly drugged and raped dozens of women.

If these women’s stories are false, then why didn’t they decide to concoct these stories in the ’80s when Cosby was in his prime? Why wait until now, when he’s almost 80 years old and is near retirement?

He’s already a billionaire. He already starred in one of the most popular family sitcoms of all time. He already became an established comedian. What are you taking from him at this point?

A handful of the victims are colored women, and they don’t care about Cosby’s skin color.

“Why did these women wait so long to tell anyone what happened to them?”

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Cosby’s lawyer has called the 40 plus sexual assault allegations “ridiculous” and “completely illogical” that no one called to make reports to the police, which seems to be their strongest argument.

Unless you were a victim of sexual abuse, assault, and/or harassment, then you do not have the right to ask why these women “waited so long to tell anyone.” When you are sexually assaulted, there is no immediate desire to get back at who did that to you. You want to recluse yourself from the situation and pretend it never happened because it’s easier than confronting who wronged you. You ask yourself how you could let that happen to you – as if it were  your fault. You feel so dirty and wrong that there’s no way you want to relive those memories, so forcing yourself to forget is the easiest thing to do.

When we stop blaming the victim, the victim will come forward.

But the worst part is that some of the women didn’t want to wait that long. Barbara Bowman, one of the 13 Jane Doe witnesses, wrote a piece earlier this year in The Washington Post called “Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?“, describing her encounters with Cosby when she was 17.

Cosby won my trust as a 17-year-old aspiring actress in 1985, brainwashed me into viewing him as a father figure, and then assaulted me multiple times. In one case, I blacked out after having dinner and one glass of wine at his New York City brownstone, where he had offered to mentor me and discuss the entertainment industry. When I came to, I was in my panties and a man’s t-shirt, and Cosby was looming over me. I’m certain now that he drugged and raped me. But as a teenager, I tried to convince myself I had imagined it.

Bowman described that while testifying for Constrand, she wanted to share her story to help but Cosby “settled the suit for an undisclosed amount of money,” so she never had the opportunity to.

Silently, the other victims read her story in awe, realizing that they weren’t alone. Someone else was wronged by him too.

I theorize that people want to challenge these women’s stories because they either A) love Bill Cosby and don’t want their childhood to be tainted or B) don’t believe that women get assaulted as often as they do and tend to “cry wolf.”

But if it was your mother? Sister? Best friend? Daughter?

Would you doubt her?

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Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Opinion Editorial

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  1. New app helps prove sexual assault claims

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