The popular American actor-comedian Bill Cosby faced a 2-week trial for sexual misconduct
Cosby, who is famous for his work on ‘The Cosby Show,’ went to trial from 5th-17th June for a 2004 sexual assault case. The case was filed by the Canadian basketball player, Andrea Constand, in 2005 alleging that she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby in his home in the year 2004.
Even though the case had been settled in 2006, it was reopened in 2015
The case had been settled out of court in 2006 with an undisclosed cash settlement and a confidentiality agreement. However, when other women later made similar accusations against Cosby and he made sweeping statements denying all the accusations against him, Constand requested that her case to be reopened. She alleged that Cosby had indirectly made references to her case and thus broken the confidentiality agreement.
The reopened case highlighted decades-long series of abuses by Cosby
Andrea Constand is 1 of over 50 women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct in incidents that go as far back as 1965. He cannot face criminal charges in the majority of these cases as too much time has passed since the alleged crime, but numerous related civil lawsuits have been brought against him.
Cosby has repeatedly denied the allegations
Cosby has refused all the allegations and said that the relations between him and his accuser, in this case, had been consensual. He has also sued Constand, claiming that the case represents a breach of the confidentiality agreement included in the 2006 settlement.
The court declared Cosby’s case as mistrial
Following 52 hours of deliberation over 5 days, the Cosby trial ended with a mistrial in June 2017. This means that he was neither found guilty nor was he acquitted. A jury of 7 men and 5 women could not reach a unanimous verdict, which is required by law, as there was no forensic evidence from the crime, since it allegedly happened so long ago.
Even though the trial was inconclusive, Cosby’s public image may be irreparable
The decision of a mistrial leaves both Cosby and Constand without any vindication even though the prosecutors have announced that they will retry the case, which will be scheduled within 120 days. However, considering the backlash from the case – Disney removed Cosby’s statue from its theme park, Netflix cancelled an upcoming comedy release, and cable networks pulled Cosby’s shows from their schedules – it’s arguable that Cosby’s reputation has been tarnished forever.
Meanwhile, the statute of limitations and the long period of time passed since the time that the alleged crimes took place has deprived many women, including Andrea Constand, their due justice.