Rape

Bill Cosby Charged in 2004 Sexual Assault, Warrant Issued for Arrest

Cosby's own testimony provided the impetus for prosecutors to reopen the case.

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The Montgomery County (PA) district attorney

Canada's Dad?
Flickr/Pat (Cletch) Williams

filed sexual assault charges against Bill Cosby this morning, First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele announced at a press conference moments ago. A warrant has been issued for the legendary comic and sitcom star's arrest. 

Cosby was charged with aggravated indecent assault, a first degree felony, and is expected to be arraigned later this afternoon. The alleged assault took place in 2004 and the statute of limitations is for such crimes is 12 years. 

The alleged victim was befriended by Cosby while she was working at Temple University, his alma matter. She told authorities that after previously rebuffing multiple sexual advances by Cosby, he gave her pills and wine at his mansion, which rendered her unable to move. It was then, she claims, the assault occurred. 

Steele told the assembled media that after a federal judge unsealed testimony from a 2005 civil suit last summer, in which Cosby admitted to providing sedatives to potential sexual conquests, "re-opening this case was our duty."

The judge in that case, Eduardo Robreno, explained that he unsealed the potentially damaging testimony because Cosby had "voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy that he is entitled to claim," having long ago adopted a public persona beyond just entertainer. Robreno added that Cosby used his "mantle of public moralist…to volunteer his views on, among other things, childrearing, family life, education, and crime," making his own ethical admissions fair game for public scrutiny.

UPDATE: Below you can hear one of Cosby's incredibly creepy bits off his 1969 album It's True! It's True!, where he describes his lifelong fascination with the idea of giving women the aphrodisiac Spanish Fly:

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  1. If the arrest warrant doesn’t have a reference to his Puddin’ Pop, I’m going to be disappointed.

    1. Life is like a Puddin’ Pop, the more you suck, the more… uh…

      1. J-E-L-L-Oh rats

  2. “The alleged assault took place in 2004 and the statute of limitations is for such crimes is 12 years. ”

    D’oh.

  3. “…Robreno added that Cosby used his “mantle of public moralist…to volunteer his views on, among other things, childrearing, family life, education, and crime,” making his own ethical admissions fair game for public scrutiny.”

    D’oh!

    Judge: The defendant will refrain from anymore outbursts.

    1. Every time I decide there’s just too much smoke here for him not to be guilty of some kind of sexual assault (the legally actionable kind, not “sex while male”), something so blatantly political occurs that makes me wonder if maybe this really is bullshit. The current campus crap sure calls into question these kinds of claims, too.

      1. Do you think someone is trying to influence the outcomes of the various civil suits?

        Man, this is a lawyers’ bonanza.

        1. It could be, but if they can’t take out the question of whether the women gave informed consent, that’s a tough road, even in civil trials. It’s also ignoring that fact that most people drink, do drugs, etc. for the sex. This does have a vague smell of the withdrawn consent fad going on these days.

          If he doped women to have nonconsensual sex with them, then he’s a rapist.

          I tend to think he’s guilty of something here, but the politics are making the truth very hard to determine.

          1. I suspect in Cosby’s case, some of the allegations are allegations you could make against almost any male who was sexually active in the 70s or 80s. In other words, the definition of sexual assault as enforced has changed a lot, while the laws themselves haven’t changed as much. Back then, excepting unconsciousness, “qui tacit consentire” applied to sex just as it was applied to every other kind of action. So giving a woman some cocaine and then having sex with her wasn’t considered rape, or vaguely offering to make her famous in return for sex.

            It is surprisingly common (I say from too much personal experience) for some women to conflate “feeling taken advantage of” or “used” in a non-criminal way with non-consent. It frightens me how often I’ve heard one twist a one night stand she thought would lead to relationship but didn’t or a hook up with a guy with some sort of clout who never returned the favor) into something ‘rapey.’ So the sheer number of accusations isn’t as convincing that he must be guilty of something as one might expect. Just think, any rich and famous guy who’s slept with 100 women completely consensual, and I’d bet at least 7 or 8 of them, if not more, would be bitter enough about it to re-characterize the incident as sexual assault.

            Of course, Cosby may just be a stone rapist. But accusations alone still aren’t proof. Even a good many of them, depending on the circumstances.

      2. now that he’s been charged, this is where i fear the excessive -in my opinion- news coverage will come into play in an unfair way. i’m not sure he’s not being charged so this prosecutor can get on tv, and i’m certain that his chances at a fair trial are a lot less reliable because of how the media has treated all this. there’s a reason you don’t have cnn specials, etc. based on years old allegations…even if there’s a lot of them, and maybe especially then.

  4. Cosby had “voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy that he is entitled to claim,” having long ago adopted a public persona beyond just entertainer. Robreno added that Cosby used his “mantle of public moralist…to volunteer his views on, among other things, childrearing, family life, education, and crime,” making his own ethical admissions fair game for public scrutiny.

    Uh, wat?
    Am I reading too much into this? If Cosby hadn’t moralized about various things publicly, the records would have remained sealed?

    1. Yes.

    2. Oh yes, the creepiest part about all of this* is that this was done out of a judge’s vindictiveness.

      * = Cosby is one man. He may really have raped women, and if so he deserves to spend the rest of his life in jail, but the idea that a judge can unseal records out of spite is far more concerning in the long run.

      1. See also Chicago Tribune getting a judge to unseal divorce records, over objections of both parties, to help TEH LIGHTWORKER in his Senate election…

        1. Of course, the damage is already done; even if Cosby isn’t guilty of rape, the unsealing of records will tarnish his reputation. And if he is guilty, well then he doesn’t have much of a case; the Supreme Court has stepped away from Gideon and Miranda jurisprudence (the principle matters even if the defendant is pretty obviously guilty) to Hudson v. Michigan and Helen v. North Carolina jurisprudence (if the defendant is guilty, the principle is irrelevant). Nowadays, Sotomayor in sole dissent is pretty much the marker of a case that should have gone the other way.

          Now maybe the records should not have been sealed in the first place, but that is a different matter and a wider question (shall we unseal the records of public officials? I’m sure there’s lots of salacious material about them hidden in judicial archives).

          1. Speaking of Sotomayor in sole dissent, Jesus Fucking Christ:

            Scalia wrote … Because Mullenix only intended to stop Leija’s car by destroying its engine, the gunshots were not “deadly force” because they were not “applied with the object of harming the body of the felon”

            I mean, this is the guy who said the 8th Amendment doesn’t apply if the actions weren’t intentionally punitive, but this is a new fucking low.

            1. Interestingly, simply driving your car near a police officer can be assault with a deadly weapon, intent and actual result be damned.

              Something, something … Foreseeable outcome … Something…

        2. I blame Brannon Braga for Obama.

          Also he ruined Star Trek.

    3. Should we apply the same standard to, say, judges? After all, they hold themselves out as exemplars of reason, justice, compassion, fairness and ethics. They certainly pass judgment on others. Isn’t it only fair that every embarrassing detail of their private lives now be disseminated to the public? To show the difference between their public personas and reality?

      What do you think of that, Your Honor?

  5. Is he still the face of Ben’s Chili Bowl?

    1. I looked – http://benschilibowl.com/photos/ see photo 26 of 32 in “Celebrities”. Heh.

    2. Chili bowl is some sort of depraved sex act, right?

      1. You’re thinking of the Chipotle burrito bowl.

  6. “mantle of public moralist…to volunteer his views on, among other things, childrearing, family life, education, and crime,” making his own ethical admissions fair game for public scrutiny.”

    I’m no lawyer, but does that sound incredibly dubious from a legal point of view? This DA has seems pretty full of shit. I’m guessing this is just another case of prosecutorial overreach that will end up in a show trial and a dismissed or innocent result.

    1. The funny thing about this, is that much of what he has said about his views on issues are right on. So, does that mean that a person should be punished more harshly, because they set high standards that they themself don’t live up to? What if someone like Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy (picking up trannies doesn’t count, because that was truly consensual, and he was only giving her/him a ride home anyway!) had been accused of the same thing. Because they had never held themselves up as moralists, would that it make it better?

      In other words, what is the difference between a true hypocrit (preaching one way of life for the proles, but doesn’t apply to him) and someone who sets a high bar, but just fails to live up to it.

      Not arguing one way or the other, just something I have struggled with.

    2. This is what happens when you have a generation of judges and prosecutors reared in the school of legal positivism: the law shall be enforced in whatever way I can manipulate it in order to pursue the greater good of ‘social progress.’

  7. …the statute of limitations is for such crimes is 12 years.

    So close.

  8. So, no evidence other than the claim?

    1. And his own testimony. RTFA.

  9. Did Doctor Huxtable write the prescription for the sedatives?

  10. “She told authorities that after previously rebuffing multiple sexual advances by Cosby, he gave her pills and wine at his mansion”
    Um, so she voluntarily took said pills and drank said wine? It could be that she asked for some aspirin and he slipped her something. But, was any toxicology performed? How would the jury know she is telling the truth? Or even assuming she is not intentionally lying, how does SHE know that he pills she said she took caused her to become paralyzed.

    Look, I think the guy is guilty as sin. But in a criminal trial, he should only be found guilty if it is beyond reasonable doubt. And the statement in question was:

    ” ‘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?’ the lawyer asked.
    ‘Yes,’ Cosby said,”

    He never admitted giving ludes to women without their knowledge. So, unless there are some rather important and relevant details that haven’t been made public, I don’t see how a jury should be able to convict him.

    1. I am wondering how and why she ended up at his mansion taking pills and wine from him in a comprolosing circumstance.

      1. That was my take-away from this whole story. For what reason did she voluntarily go to his mansion? It seems to me if someone has rebuffed multiple sexual advances, why in the fuck would said person go to accused residence? Alone? I cannot speak to Bill’s guilt or innocence, but I have yet to hear an accusation that I find the least bit credible. I truly believe everyone of these women consensually took drugs and had relations with Billy Boy, and are now looking for payday. Regret does not equate to rape.

        1. Regret does not equate to rape.

          Report for re?ducation.

    2. but it’s been widely reported that he admitted to rape, so the question becomes, can jurors get their facts straight before they render a verdict?

    3. Lack of evidence is no longer a bad thing. A toxicology report would merely provide evidence that could actually verify what actually happened, and force us to scrutinize the testimony of the victim. Hene why modern day rape activists all but encourage women to file reports months or years after the alleged act, rather than immediately: by then, no more exculpatory evidence.

  11. One of my favorite bits of all time is Eddie Murphy imitating both Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby.

    Couldn’t get the link, but here is the punch line:
    (All done in Richard Pryor voice):
    “Do people laugh when you say the things you say?”
    “Do you get paid?”
    “Then tell Bill to have a Coke and a smile and shut the fuck up!”

  12. Yeah, that Spanish Fly bit has really come back to haunt him, huh?

    1. On the other hand, if he’s been open about that, “assortative mating” (including consent) seems more likely. Naturally, there is the problem of recursivity.

  13. Spanish gecko for me.

    Alcohol also works.

  14. So, a rapper describing crimes in his songs is just playing a character, but a comedian doing the same on a stand-up album is creepy?

    1. The rapper is an authentic black dude. Duh.

      1. Radical Chic FTW

  15. Hey, Cos….Get your wife to run for president. Then the media will bend over backwards trying to either ignore it or cover for you. (Won’t be the first time they’ve done things like that, now, will it?)

  16. Great, when is Bill Clinton going to be arrested?

  17. Sad to learn of being deceived for this long.
    Time to burn him and his comedies out of history.
    If he is found guilty.

  18. And if Cosby hadn’t strayed from the liberal Hollywood plantation we would never have heard about any of these incidents.

  19. Where’s The Brown Hornet when you need him?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxIU2hebr1w

    “My Super-Intuition tells me we are in serious trouble….”

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