The Mixed Messages of Bill Cosby, Brett Kavanaugh, and Donald Trump

Bill Cosby was just sentenced to the maximum sentence allowed after the judge in the case, Stephen T. O’Neil, consolidated the three felonies he was convicted of into one, fairly standard for Pennsylvania. He sentenced Cosby to 3–10 years which will be served in State prison, also declaring Cosby was a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) and a continuing threat to the public despite being 81 years old and virtually blind.

Bill Cosby has been accused by over sixty women of having drugged them and having various degrees of sexual contact with them ranging from rape to digital penetration to other forms of sexual assault. The victim in this case, Andrea Constand was the only woman whose rape in 2004 was within the statute of limitations, had she not prevailed in the earlier trial. Cosby would be a free man, although several civil suits are still pending against Cosby for slander and defamation of character.

Many of Cosby’s accusers were present at the sentencing, some had testified at his trial as “prior bad act witnesses.” They gathered outside the courthouse in a pouring rain giving statements like, “this proves no man is above the law,” and, “finally, justice for women,” and, “women are going to be listened to from now on.” One woman felt “liberated,” saying, “there is justice.” Gloria Allred, attorney for several of the woman said, “women are finally getting justice.” Yet, we know through other public cases, justice is situational, not applying to Brett Kavanaugh or Donald Trump.

At the same moment as cameras were lined up in the hallway of the courthouse to glimpse Bill Cosby being led away in handcuffs and outside to see him driven off to state prison. Brett Kavanaugh is preparing for a Thursday Senate hearing where he’s expected to deny charges of sexual assault and attempted rape. Kavanaugh is seeking recommendation by the Senate Judiciary Committee for an open Supreme Court Justice seat, to be followed by a confirmation vote by the entire Senate. In his case, there is little interest in justice, and the women are literally not being heard as the Senate will not allow any corroborating witnesses to back up the story of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford about an event that transpired while they were in high school together. Ford alleges Kavanaugh with the assistance of his good friend, Mark Judge, pulled her into a room and attempted to pull off her clothes, covering her mouth to muffle her screams while Judge turned up the music. The eleven white male Republicans who sit on the Judiciary Committee have no interest in hearing from Judge who was in the room. They will not hear from other witnesses who heard about the event contemporaneously. They don’t even want to be seen asking tough questions of Dr. Ford and assaulting her character. Instead, they are hiding behind the skirts of a female staff lawyer who will do their dirty work.

Since the initial allegation by Dr. Ford, another accuser has come forward, this time a Yale classmate. Deborah Ramirez says Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party, pulling out his penis, putting it in her face and causing her to unwillingly touch it as she pushed him away. She named several witnesses to the event or that heard of it contemporaneously. Deborah did not come forward on her own, she was contacted by reporters that got wind of several Yale students discussing it on the Internet. The Senate has shown no interest thus far in hearing from Deborah Ramirez, they only want to vote, using their majority to push through the nomination, “plow through” in the words of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. President Trump has had a few words to say about the second accuser. He calls her story, “totally unsubstantiated” despite the number of witnesses. Trump says Ramirez was, “totally drunk,” forgetting that Kavanaugh was alleged to have been drunk during the incidents with Ford and Ramirez.

There are additional allegations as well. Attorney Michael Avenatti says he has a client who will come forward before Thursday’s Senate hearing with stories about Kavanaugh and Judge. He implies they arranged parties at Washington area homes where girls were given drugs and/or alcohol and boys gang-raped them, running “trains” on the girls. Kavanaugh writes in his 1983 yearbook of the Keg Club for which he was treasurer, “100 Kegs or Bust.” He writes about a woman he suggests he had sex with, along with several other classmates in the book. Despite all the allegations against Kavanaugh, it appears there will be no investigation, no corroborating witnesses in the Senate hearing. No additional accusers heard from, and Kavanaugh will be given a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. While Bill Cosby is still in an SUV on the way to prison. Kavanaugh faces no criminal charges, the worst currently contemplated is that he doesn’t get appointed to the Supreme Court but stays a Federal Judge with a lifetime appointment. What will he think about when he ends today’s practice session and watches Cosby on the news?

Back to Trump… Donald J. Trump has been accused by 19 separate women of charges ranging from rape of a 13-year-old girl to sexual assault, to sexual harassment. He’s facing possible charges related to FEC campaign finance violations associated with his payoffs of a porn star and a Playboy Playmate. He’s bragged of sexual assault, saying he can just kiss women and “grab ’em by the pussy.” An ex-wife once accused him of rape. Most of this was known before he was elected President, and people didn’t care. He has never met a Republican accused of a sex crime he didn’t support. From the biggest soapbox in the nation, he never believes the women, finding them not credible for doing what women do, not immediately reporting their assaults for the verifiable reason that they won’t be believed, among others.

While cheers are still ringing in a Pennsylvania courtroom where Cosby was sentenced to 3–10 years in prison. It’s way too soon to declare victory for #MeToo. Bill Cosby is rich and famous, well-known for his philanthropy. His image as a family man supplemented by the role he played on tv, Cliff Huxtable. There’s hope for #MeToo to see this type of man receive jail time for his crimes. But how many others have gone to jail? What of the messages being sent by the United States Senate and the President of the United States who say don’t believe the women, they were confused or mistaken? Or those that outright call them liars, part of a Democrat plot.

For justice to matter, it can’t be just an occasional thing. What applies to Cosby should apply to Kavanaugh, Trump, Weinstein, and all others where credible evidence is found and presented against them. The concern can’t only be for the future of the man and the impact on their life. If we’ve learned nothing else, it’s that these events stay with the women forever. Until the culture changes, and those that justify, excuse, or ignore bad behavior, pay a penalty for doing so. The behavior will continue. Can it really be the only high profile person prosecuted, convicted and sentenced is the black man? That sends a message as well.

How Bill Cosby Became Willie Horton and O.J.

Yesterday I wrote an article about the Bill Cosby verdict where he was found guilty of three counts of Aggravated Indecent Assault and he faces up to 30 years in prison. Bill Cosby has been accused by 60 separate women of various forms of sexual assault, most involving Cosby giving the women drugs and taking advantage of them while incapacitated. I left no doubt that I believe Cosby to be guilty of much of what he has been charged with. If I didn’t accept the word of any of the women that have come forward against him, Cosby’s own words in a deposition taken between 2005–2006 where he admits to giving women Quaalude’s for the purpose of having sex, were enough for me.

Many people have responded to my article with comments ranging from refusal to believe in Cosby’s guilt to wondering why he is being singled out for prosecution to why did the women wait so long to relating it to Cosby’s attempt to purchase NBC. Many of the respondents feel the case had a lot to do about race and I happen to agree with them. It is possible both for Cosby to be guilty and some of the rationale for his persecution to be about race.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, campaigned on the promise that he would prosecute Bill Cosby after his opponent, Bruce Castor, the District Attorney in 2005, refused to bring a case against Cosby at that time. Castor said in 2014, “I wanted to arrest Bill Cosby because I thought he was probably guilty, but being able to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt and thinking he’s probably guilty are two different things.” Kevin Steele ran campaign ads indicating, “Castor didn’t look out for Cosby’s victims.” The “victims” Steele fought for were almost all white and the images in some of the ads featuring an unflattering image of Cosby, were reminiscent of Willie Horton. The Montgomery County election that Steele ultimately won, came five months after Donald Trump announced his campaign for President. Pennsylvania unexpectedly went for Trump, in no small part by playing up to the fears of white people. You can believe Cosby to be guilty yet understand that his race played a role in his prosecution

There are no small number of people who wonder why Bill Cosby was tried, then retried after a mistrial, when other men, not eighty years old and almost blind, are not being persecuted for similar charges? Nate Parker, a black man, was acquitted of rape charges in 2001. Fifteen years later, when his film, “Birth of a Nation” received critical acclaim and was gaining steam for the Academy Awards. A coordinated campaign to besmirch him was unleashed and his film suffered greatly. Casey Affleck, who settled 2010 civil suits claiming sexual harassment, won the Oscar, shortly after the allegations became widely-known. R. Kelly still is involved with young girls. Donald Trump has been accused by 19 different women and of rape by a then 13-year-old girl… he’s President. You can believe Cosby to be guilty and be aware of a double-standard. Harvey Weinstein has been accused by more than 70 women of sex related charges including rape, and has yet to be charged. It is alleged that New York City and Los Angeles County are “considering charges.” Perhaps, like O.J. Simpson, the race of the victims made the prosecution care more than they might have otherwise? If Cosby had been drugging and attacking black women, would he have faced a second trial?

There were moments in the trial that greatly increased the chances Cosby would be found guilty. His 2005–2006 deposition was allowed into evidence in which Bill Cosby described his behavior in several cases including Andrea Constand, his accuser in the Pennsylvania case where he was found guilty. The deposition was given conditionally, it could never be used against him… and yet it was. The judge also allowed five additional women to testify to bolster the prosecution’s case. You can believe Cosby to be guilty, and wonder if he got a fair trial.

The accusations of several women was not enough to jail Donald Trump, or Roy Moore, or many other rich and famous men. In a he said, she said scenario where the she is a white woman and he a black male. Did he ever have a chance? One can believe Cosby to be guilty. And wonder about the fairness of it all?

One last thing, the press coverage since the verdict has been one white woman after another taking a victory lap after the guilty verdict. I don’t begrudge his victims being able to salvage some small satisfaction at what will be as close to justice as many of them will ever get. Yet some of the coverage seems almost gleeful as the #MeToo movement settles on #JustHim. Charlie Rose is planning a television series, interviewing other men suffering inconvenience from having their abuse uncovered. Mark Halpern is planning a comeback. Harvey Weinstein is the poster boy for sexual abuse yet he is still rich, and free. The woman who accused Emmett Till, Carolyn Bryant Donham, admitted she lied and got the 14-year-old Till beaten and killed. She’s 82-years old, not much older than Cosby. No jail cells being prepared for her. There is no inconsistency in thinking that Bill Cosby is guilty, deserves to be sentenced and jailed, and yet having it leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Bill Cosby: Guilty!

In Norristown, PA today, Bill Cosby was found guilty on three counts of Aggravated Indecent Assault in a Montgomery County courtroom. He was found guilty specifically of a January 2004 assault of Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee, who claims Cosby gave her three blue pills and a sip of wine. She awoke to find Cosby digitally penetrating and groping her, forcing her hand on his penis, according to her testimony.

Five other women testified at the trial corroborating similar stories of being drugged by Cosby, including model Janice Dickenson. All but one claimed they were sexually assaulted by Cosby after being drugged. Entered into evidence was a deposition of Bill Cosby taken between 2005–2006 where he admitted having given women Quaaludes for the purpose of having sex.

“Q: You gave them to other people?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you believe at that time that it was illegal for you to dispense those drugs?

A: Yes.

Q: How did (the doctor) know that you didn’t plan to use [them]?

A: What was happening at that time was that, that was, Quaaludes happen to be the drug that kids, young people were using to party with and there were times when I wanted to have them just in case.

Q: 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?

A: Yes.

In the deposition Cosby acknowledged having sex with several other women after giving them drugs and sometimes making cash payments through Educational Trusts from his foundation or otherwise. It is fair to mention that the deposition was never intended to be made public and that Cosby’s understanding is that it never would be. It was a condition of a settlement he might not have agreed to had he known the testimony would ever see the light of day.

By August of 2016, 60 women had come forward to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault… 60. There are those who claim this was all a set up to bring down a powerful black man who was rumored to be attempting to buy NBC. There are those that claim “all the women are lying” in an attempt to make a name for themselves or get paid.” Some say, “it’s all a conspiracy.”

I think we can all agree that it’s sad that a man of Cosby’s age and poor health is looking at possibly spending the rest of his life in prison. Each of the three counts he was found guilty of carries up to a 10-year-sentence which if added together would be thirty years, Cosby is presently 80-years old. Cosby’s lawyers promised an appeal and it’s very possible he could fight the case until his death and never serve a day of time? But poor health is not the same as not guilty.

I’m thinking of a 71-year-old white man who has been accused by 19 different women of sexual abuse and in at least one case… child rape. Many that like Cosby but dislike this man would have no problem finding the other man guilty based on the combined weight of credible testimony. That man has made separate payments of $150,000 and $130,000 to keep his dalliances quiet and a recent raid of his lawyer’s office may reveal many more. If you would see the white man that you dislike strung up for his crimes, what then of Cosby whom you once admired? 60 women!

I grew up idolizing Bill Cosby, more so as a serious actor for his groundbreaking role in, “I Spy,” which was already in re-runs when I discovered it. I liked him as a comedian and for what I knew of him as a man. Yes, it’s true that people are using this case and Cosby’s conviction to advance their own purposes and careers. Some may be looking to make some money off of Cosby’s ordeal. These things being true have nothing to do with Cosby’s guilt or innocence.

By his own words, Cosby gave young women drugs for the purpose of having sex, with them often not knowing what they were. The piper was a long time in coming, but must be paid!

Bill Cosby: It Ain’t Over!


On June 17, 2017, after five days of deliberation, a mistrial was declared in the trial of actor/comedian Bill Cosby. He was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each count punishable by up to ten years. It’s been reported on the three counts, the juror votes were (10–2), (11–1), and (10–2) in favor of guilty. Montgomery County (outside Philadelphia) District Attorney Kevin Steele, promised at that time he would retry the case, and now he’s making good. Jury selection for the retrial will start March 29, 2018.

Comic Hannibal Buress had been discussing Cosby in his stand-up routine for several months before people finally noticed. He condemned Cosby for criticizing young black men for their dress and lifestyle by saying, “Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby, so that kind of brings you down a couple notches.” He encouraged audience members to, “Google; Bill Cosby, rape.” Some did and eventually, things got crazy.

Between those that had come forward earlier and those that came after Cosby’s alleged behavior became widely known. Over 60 women came forward to make claims against Cosby, the vast majority after the statute of limitations had expired. Many feel his guilt is clear and many others feel it’s a conspiracy against Cosby for a variety of reasons.

Cosby will be age 81 in July and is in poor physical health. He has been stripped of Honorary Degrees, removed from Boards and is the target of several civil lawsuits. Guilty or not, I’m sure he never imagined his career… his life would close out in this manner. Bill Cosby and his wife Camille who continues to stand by him, have been great donors to many causes including $20 million to Spelman College in Atlanta. Spelman recently cut ties with Cosby and is returning the $20 million.

Whatever your feelings about Cosby, his legal troubles are about to be back in the headlines. Stay tuned!