Bill Cosby Imprisoned for Sexual Assault

Bill Cosby Imprisoned for Sexual Assault

Montgomery County Correctional

“America’s dad” turned convicted sex-offender, Bill Cosby, is now in prison. After more than a dozen women came forward with statements that he had sexually assaulted them throughout his successful career, he was put on trial. After five months of jury deliberation, he was found guilty. However, even though he is convicted, he could be set free in three-years time due to a possible parole.

The first accusations against him surfaced more than than decade ago, in 2005, when Andrea Constand stated that Cosby had drugged her and took advantage of her a year prior. He denied it, stating, “I am not going to give in to people who try to exploit me because of my celebrity status.” Victims wondered if their testimonies would be believed since he was so popular and influential, but more and more women came forward throughout the years, determined to bring him to justice. Even though he was brought to court, sadly, Cosby was never convicted, with his defense team finding loopholes, whether it was a lack of evidence or lost details between the ten women who testified as victims in his first trial.

However, with the emergence of the #MeToo movement, the landscape changed. Victims of sexual assault were no longer being accused of lying or seeking attention, and their pleas were respected and investigated. Due to this, victims felt safe speaking out against Cosby, because they had a community of women behind them. Since the victims felt like they now had a second chance, there was a second trial. This trial was more deeply investigated and publicized, revealing the names and accusations of all the women who had testified prior. Two more women, Louisa Moritz and Angela Leslie, also came forward with testimonies, sealing his fate as a convicted offender, instead of an accused.    

“I think that he should be locked up for a really, really long time,” Divya Chhotani ‘20 said. “This nonsense has been going on for the past seven years, and we’ve seen many powerful men get away with this; he needs to be put in his place.” In the past men have gotten away with crimes simply because of their social standings and reputations. “We can see this with the O.J Simpson trial. America’s hero, a football player, becoming a murderer, but he got let out free. And now that we’ve seen Mr. Cosby have sexual accusations against him, we can see that we don’t want to make the same mistake that went with the O.J. Simpson trial.”

As his fate becomes sealed within the confines of prison, fans of The Cosby Show and Bill Cosby’s work in general must now face reality. Reruns of the hit show have now been taken off the daily lineup, with episodes only being on Amazon Prime. His honorary degrees from multiple universities, such as Yale and Notre Dame, have been taken away from him as well. However, fans now must face the harshest truth of them all: that a man who, for decades, talked about morals and responsibility to young adults, was the one that needed those talks the most.

While Cosby does have to leave his extravagant life behind, his prison was newly built in July 2018, therefore it has many more resources than the average prison. His facilities also account for his age and well-being, as well as containing dozens of classrooms and a recreational center. Those who support the victims are suspicious of the fact that Cosby was sent there instead of an older prison, possibly due to his prior fame.

“I feel like if he was charged with that sort of crime, there should be a fitting enough punishment,” Reddy ’20 said. “Making an easier punishment for people who have more standing in the media such as Bill Cosby, isn’t fair when there was a mistake being done. If they did something wrong, then it shouldn’t be that they get a nice room and still get the punishment. It should be pretty standard across the board.”

Although he still has to serve jail time, Cosby’s attorneys hope to appeal the case with the claim of discrimination from the judge who decided Cosby’s guilty verdict, Judge O’Neill, which could let Cosby out early. Cosby could also appear before a parole board in three years time, and if his case succeeds, he could serve the rest of his sentence out of prison, although still under supervision. However, even if he’s released, he will have to pay pending civil lawsuits against him. But mostly, he will have to pay the repercussions of tarnishing his once prestigious reputation.