A spokesperson for the 79 year old comedian announced news of this “class” in an interview on Thursday. He explained that the issue is, “bigger than Bill Cosby, this issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today,” and continued, saying, “They need to know what they are facing when they are hanging out and partying, when they are doing certain things that they shouldn’t be doing — and it also affects married men.”
Cosby will also talk about the dangers of false allegations, and how detrimental they are to a person’s life. It has been speculated that these classes are an appeal to future jurors, as his case is going back for a second trial, after the first one ending in mistrial, with two jurors deciding him not guilty.
About 50 women have accused Bill Cosby of either sexual assault or rape, and there is no way to know how many women held back their own accusations in fear of embarrassment or public shame. Many of those who stepped forward were called liars, and accused of only wanting media attention. Cosby’s lawyers used fear tactics on his accusers to get them to retract their statements, and began their opening remarks with attacks on his accusers credibility. The entire situation is, for lack of a better word, icky; the ickiest part being that, for now, he walks free.
For many, this verdict is a slap in the face. It is a reminder that rape culture is alive and well in this world, and that 50 women worth of allegations is not enough for a guilty verdict. Furthermore, in Cosby’s testimony, he states that he purchased Quaalude, a sedative and hypnotic medication, with the intent of giving it to women and having sex with the women afterwards. For him to have been deemed anything but guilty is an absolute abomination.
Furthermore, that he is teaching a class to young people on how to avoid allegation of sexual assault shows just how little he has learned. He hides behind the idea that it refers to “false allegations”, but a study in 2000-2003 showed that of 812 sexual assault reports, only 2.1% of them were false reports. In comparison, about 63% of sexual assaults go unreported. Our country’s problem is not, and has never been, false reports or allegations. The idea that we need to protect a man’s reputation more than a woman’s mental health, especially after a sexual assault, is the kind of mentality that has, and will continue to, perpetuate rape culture.
The best way to avoid sexual assault allegations is to not sexually assault anyone, it’s really quite simple. If the statistics hold true, only 1 of Cosby’s accusers filed a false report, and there are still 85 more women who did not report their sexual assault. Cosby’s case will go back to trial in a couple months, and I really hope justice is served.
CNN also just released the names of the jurors on Cosby’s first trial. You can find them here.