Sexual Assault Allegations are NOT a joke

Originally published in the Pine County Courier 7.6.17

Emilee Franklin

 

Sexual Assault Allegations are NOT a joke

Dear Mr. Cosby,
Thank you for your time spent as Dr. Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable, named by many as “America’s father”. Cliff Huxtable was a fictional character on the NBC sitcom, The Cosby Show. He was a doctor, husband, and a father of five children, four girls, and one boy. On the show his image was one of a very kind-hearted and dedicated father, and family man. Although it was just a television show his character was an inspiration of how a ideal man should treat others. Bill Cosby was a main producer of the show and modeled much of it after his experiences in life. The show was widely popular, and spent five consecutive seasons as the number one rated show on television. The Cosby Show combined with Cosby’s previous show’s and stand-up pushed him into undeniable fame and success. According to TV Week’s list of 50 best Dads Cliff Huxtable played by Bill Cosby ranked number 1. What the wildly popular television show didn’t reveal to many was that while Cosby’s character Cliff Huxtable was very affable with good intentions, it appears that Mr. Cosby tended to act the opposite in real life. Bill Cosby hid behind his false identity as Cliff Huxtable and has taken advantage of many people.

 
Now I am not one to accuse another in matters I do not know of before the evidence has been released. Although the court system claims to be honest and fair, I and many others feel that it isn’t always fair. However, I still believe the right to a fair trial, and hope that whatever the truth is, eventually comes out. Although it is technically not known if Bill Cosby sexually assaulted anyone, what is known is that 59 women have come forth with some sort of accusation against Cosby from child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, drug facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual misconduct, or rape. The dates of the alleged incidents span from 1965 to 2008 across 10 U.S. states and one Canadian province. One theme has seemed to be common in almost all of the victims testimony. It is that they were offered a pill, or some form of drink from Cosby, and do not remember a lot of the events after.

 
Although Cosby has not directly addressed all of the 59 accusations, what he has admitted on his own is, that he has had sexual relations outside of his marriage. What is more disturbing than an affair is that in a court deposition in 2005 under oath Cosby admitted that he gave Quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with, without them knowing.

 
Quaalude is a trade name for methaqualone, which was first synthesized in 1951. It first became popular in the United States in the 1960s. Their initial purpose was being used to treat insomnia and anxiety, some of their side affects included putting people in a coma like state, even death.

 
Ultimately I do not know whether or not Cosby took advantage of one or all of the 59 women who have accused him or potentially others who have not spoken. What I do know is the actions he has admitted to appall me. When a person is intoxicated or under the influence of any substance whether it is alcohol, or some drug the person is unable to consent legally. Therefore the women that Cosby gave drinks or pills too, or both were not able to consent for themselves. If any sex was had between parties, it could not legally be consensual as Cosby claims. What is more disturbing is that the women accusing Cosby did not consent to take Quaaludes in the first place. Although some of the cases and alleged assaults took place years ago I think the evidence is fairly damning for Cosby, even if it ended in a mistrial with the jury deadlocked on a decision. I personally await for a retrial.

 
After the results of the mistrial came out, Cosby and his team made some bold statements. Bill Cosby’s spokespeople said he will deliver educational talks teaching young people how to behave to avoid sexual assault allegations. According to an interview with CNN, publicist Andrew Wyatt confirmed that Cosby’s “educational” town halls really are serious and in the works.

 
“This is not a sexual assault tour as many media have sensationalized it. It is an educational tour on what people should be cognizant of in regard to sexual abuse allegations and the dangers,” Wyatt said.

 
Although words have been retracted since this time, and Cosby’s team now claim that they would be going on an educational tour not necessarily pertaining to sexual assault, the fact remains that, the statement was made. Why would a person with almost 60 individuals accusing him of assault be qualified to teach on consent and sexual assault. Individuals should not be taught how to assault and avoid trouble, but rather should be taught on what consent is, which is something we now as a fact that Cosby does not understand as he used Quaaludes to sleep with women without their knowledge.

 
To all survivors out there, keep going. Keep persisting, some day there will be a time when rapists will be held accountable, and we need your perseverance help to get there.
Believe Survivors. Get Consent. Kill Rape Culture.

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