The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

Bill Cosby Gets His Sentence

October 7, 2018

Years after his crimes, Bill Cosby is now in prison.

The former comedian, lovingly dubbed as “America’s Dad” before his crimes were revealed, was sentenced to three to ten years in prison for sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.

It took a long time to get to this point with Bill Cosby and all his allegations, and in order to understand the impact this will have on his legacy, it may help to go back and see where it all started.  

William Henry Cosby Jr. was born on July 12, 1937. Before the trial, Cosby was best known for creating cartoon character Fat Albert and starring in the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show” for eight years. Cosby was a household name and influenced many television comedies.  He was also a key endorser for several popular products, such as Jell-O pudding and Coca-Cola.

However, Cosby’s reputation started to falter in the 2010s when several women came out and accused Cosby of sexual assault, drugging them and raping them. The first woman to accuse Cosby was Constand, who worked at Temple University, which was Cosby’s alma mater. In January 2005, she accused Cosby of drugging and fondling her back in 2004, which Cosby immediately denied. Cosby was not charged due to insufficient evidence.

Constand followed up by filing a civil lawsuit against Cosby, which ended up being settled out of court for $3.38 million, and the case was dismissed in November 2006. It was assumed that the case was finished, but Cosby was not in the clear.

Nearly eight years later, stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress was doing a set on Bill Cosby during a show. Buress mentioned the Cosby rape allegations while talking about Cosby’s influence. “Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches,” Buress said. A member of the audience recorded Buress saying this, and the clip ended up going viral.

After the clip came out, dozens of women came out accusing Cosby of sexual assault and rape. By the time Cosby was sentenced, sixty women had come forth to accuse Cosby. Since the statute of limitations had expired in most cases, a lot of women weren’t able to file a criminal lawsuit against him. However, since there was now sufficient evidence against Cosby in the Constand case, the case was reopened.

One of Cosby’s defense tactics has been focusing on his deteriorating health. Cosby is 81 years old and announced he is completely blind in April 2017. However, many people, like MPSH sophomore Samantha Dubner, don’t think that his health should excuse him from his crimes.

“[Cosby] was younger when he raped the women, he knew he would get caught eventually,” Dubner said.

It appears the final stages of the Cosby sexual assault drama have finally arrived. It can be noted that Cosby’s lawyers are planning an appeal, so if they succeed, Cosby could end up back in the courthouse. But overall, there’s no denying the impact this case has had on our society and pop culture.

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