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About the recent (30+ year old) accusations against Bill Cosby

12/09/14

Permalink 12:51:52 am, by Paul ROBINSON, 898 words   English (US)
Categories: Announcements [A], News

About the recent (30+ year old) accusations against Bill Cosby

I'm not trying to enter "blame the victim" mode here, but why didn't anyone say something about these allegations against Bill Cosby before? Why does it take 30 years or more to finally bring up events that (may have) happened that far back, and might even have had major details lost or forgotten? I'm thinking of the William Kennedy Smith trial, and the evidence and summations made it sound like basically, he was probably lousy in bed, treated her like shit or just a piece of ass, and she decides to 'retroactively" claim rape. Now, again, I'm not saying this is the case here. It is entirely possible Cosby did do all of the really bad things that it is claimed he did. It is possible some are true and some are exaggerated or fabricated, and it is possible all of them are created out of whole cloth. But the problem that remains what that anyone who could have said something - and if true, potentially prevented other incidents - did nothing and remained silent. For decades.

Now, I can understand some wannabe actress afraid to say something immediately, possibly fearing she might be blacklisted (as happened to Cliff Robertson in 1978 after he publicly accused Columbia studio head David Begelman of stealing from him, an accusation later shown to be true, and Robertson wasn't the only person used by Begelman to embezzle from Columbia Pictures). But, after a few years, you would think someone would have said something. Perhaps, back in the 1970s and earlier women weren't taken that seriously over domestic (boyfriend-girlfriend and husband-wife) assault and acquaintance rape, but the same is not true during the 1980s, and especially coming into the 1990s and 2000s.

Let's look back to 1984 and 1985, Were societal mores so inadequately protective of women that accusations of abuse and sexual assault, even against a famous and well-loved actor and comedian like Cosby would be ignored or treated cavalierly by the police? While I might be wrong, I do not think so.

There is a concept in law called "laches" which in layman's terms means, "you snooze, you lose," in which if you wait too long to sue over an incident the courts dismiss your claim as untimely. This helps prevent the courts with being clogged with old, stale cases where evidence which might allow the defendant to raise a defense could be lost, destroyed, or memories faded. This is expressed in statutes of limitations requirements where, in most states a criminal case for anything less than murder must be filed within 3 to 7 years, and civil cases asking for money or other damages generally must be filed within about the same period of time.

Which brings us to noted (self admitted) feminist attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing at least one of Cosby's female accusers, realizes that as it stands Cosby could never be prosecuted nor sued for anything even if he did do what he is accused of (the statute of limitations on prosecuting such crimes in California is 3 years, and for a civil suit for damages it's 3 years after the incident or 3 years after the person turns 18 if they were under 18 at the time of the incident, whichever is later), came out to say that Cosby should waive the statute of limitations and allow a trial on the merits to take place.

The simple question I have is "why?" Who on earth would choose to go on trial over something - whether or not they are liable for it - when they are essentially immune from process? What exactly does allowing a suit against him to go forward buy Cosby except grief and potential financial loss? I mean, the guy isn't doing any TV or movie projects, does not have, as far as I know, any endorsement deals or advertising campaign, isn't doing stand-up, and is, for all intents and purposes retired or semi-retired. He's probably a multimillionaire, so it doesn't matter what some women say about him - even if it's true - because no amount of public opinion is going to affect his probably extremely comfortable lifestyle.

Allred shows no possible reason Cosby should want to waive the statute of limitations and essentially the only argument she can come up with is it allows her client potentially to get money out of him through a judgment if the accusation were proven true, and thus Allred would get the typical 30% cut of the money, so to some extent her comments are essentially self-serving.

Allred here is clearly acting the part of a zealous attorney who has failed to realize you have nothing to offer and nothing to threaten. In legal circles, this is exemplified by the saying, "During a trial, if the law is on your side, pound on (emphasize the importance of) the law; if the facts are on your side, pound on the facts; if neither is on your side, pound on the table."

It is one thing for a young person with their career ahead of them who has a cloud overhanging them to want to see such matters resolved and gotten out of the way so they can be able to make a living, but it would represent rank insanity for someone like Cosby to consider this, especially if he was committing the things he has been accused of. And if he wasn't, there's probably not much upside to raise a response over this.

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Welcome to My blog! This is where I store my thoughts so that I can come back to them at some point in the future. This allows me a place like a journal to keep what I'm thinking about. But anyone else is welcome to visit; I make this place public so that other people can hear what I'm thinking.

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