Bill Cosby Sexual Harassment Scandal

Bill Cosby during a pinning ceremony at US Navy Memorial February 17, 2011, in Washington D.C. These honors were later revoked. Photo by Kevin S. O’Brien via wikicommons.

Bill Cosby was charged with several accounts of aggravated sexual assault on April 26, after over a decade of lawsuits and charges against him.

In his 80s sitcom days, he was “America’s dad,” but following a series of sexual misconduct accusations being made against him, he began losing his rapport with America. During his time on the sitcom The Bill Cosby Show, Cosby had, according to public allegations, harassed 12 women. Before creating and starring in his show, he had already harassed 27 women. The assaults started coming to light in 2005 after basketball player Andrea Constand was drugged one night by Cosby and filed for a lawsuit. By 2014, 45 women had come forward.

The first case against Cosby was made in 2015 for Constand’s encounter. As Constand’s case began to wrap up, more women came forward and the case was extended to include more victims. The case took three years to settle, and he is tried on three counts, facing up to 30 years of maximum prison time. Bill Cosby is an 80-year-old man, meaning he could possibly spend the rest of his life behind bars. Given the fame of this case, the judge is well aware of how many other rapes may have occurred that are now past the statute of limitations that Cosby couldn’t be charged for. The judge also knows Cosby is old and in poor health, so any long sentence may be a life sentence.

Cosby has yet to be in prison, but many other consequences have come his way. Besides the anger many Americans have towards him for doing what he did, many of his accomplishments have been revoked. Temple University, North Carolina A&T State University, and Boston College have revoked honorary degrees given to Cosby after his verdict. Two of the nation’s top awards for artists, Kennedy Center Honors and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, have been revoked. Others of Cosby’s achievements may follow.

Given his 50 years of alleged serial rapings, Cosby has earned a criminal reputation all around the world and has become the face of sexual misconduct. Many other famous men in Hollywood were accused in the midst of the #metoo movement near the end of 2017. Most accusations circled around famous producer Harvey Weinstein. This led to the snowball of rape allegations being known as the Harvey Weinstein effect. Many of the men involved fessed up to their crimes and apologized—but some chose to ignore their accusers. Bill Cosby’s case is over, but rape victims and anti-rape advocates everywhere hope that he and other people guilty of sexual assault can become an example for what can happen to those who hurt others.

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