Bill Cosby Finally Faces Criminal Charge for Sexual Assault

Finally the more than 40 women who have come forward to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault might get some sliver of justice. It was just anounced that Cosby has been criminally charged in the 2004 assualt of Andrea Constand, the then Temple University women's basketball coach.

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Although Constand wasn't named during the press conference as the victim, she is identified as the victim in the affidavit of probable cause.  The details of the assault fit the familiar pattern his other alleged victims have described. Constand says she regarded Cosby -- a longtime benefactor of Temple -- as a mentor and friend. That is until, says Montgomery County District Attorney-elect Kevin Steele, he allegedly came over to her house, gave her pills that left her catatonic and unable to defend herself.

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Constand took Cosby to civil court where he admitted to reaching down her pants and fondling her. But, he added sickeningly, "I don't hear her say anything. And I don't feel her say anything. And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection."

Yeah, in our opinion, that "area" is called sexual assault.

If convicted, Cosby, who is already 78 years old, faces 10 years in prison and would have to register as a sex offender. This is one of the rare incidents that was able to draw a criminal charge for Cosby, since the statute of limitations had not yet expired.

As for Constand, it's now up to her to stand in front of Cosby and the court and tell her story and try and get justice not just for her but for all the women Cosby allegedly assaulted. Her attorney, Dolores Troiana, says she's ready and will do "whatever they request of her."

Let's hope they throw the book at the creep and he spends the rest of his days behind bars. Cosby's been allowed to terrorize women for far too long. And his victims finally deserve justice.

Beyond punishing Cosby for his crimes, this is an important moment for all victims of sexual assault who are afraid to speak out. Women who make accusations of rape are often treated as criminals -- as if there's something they did to bring the assault on themselves. But these women, from well-know beauties Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickenson to the dozens of others, are showing all of us that it is possible to publicly name your accuser -- even when he's a beloved American icon -- and maintain your dignity. They are serving every other woman with their bravery -- and for that we all owe them our gratitude and support.

There's still plenty of fight left and we don't know whether Cosby will ever actually see the inside of a jail cell. But this is a fight about something bigger than locking up some creepy old man. This fight is about every woman's right to be heard and protected from criminals -- no matter how beloved, rich or powerful. So fight on, ladies.

Here's more of Bill Cosby's own admissions in his 2005 deposition in the Constand civil case.

 

 Image via ABC News/YouTube

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