Earlier today, a Norristown, Pa., jury of seven men and five women did something many of us a decade ago never would have imagined.
They convicted one of America’s most iconic entertainers of three counts of sexual assault. To be totally candid, I am still trying to process the conviction of Bill Cosby of the crimes he was accused of committing.
Think about this for a moment. There will be no more “alleged” adjective attached to the counts of sexual assault that Cosby committed against Andrea Constand, a one Temple University employee with whom Cosby was acquainted.
Cosby is now a convicted felon who faces the possibility of a lengthy prison term for the three counts of sexual assault. As I understand it, he could be sentenced to 30 years in prison: 10 years for each of the counts.
Now, as an 80-year-old felon, does anyone really expect the judge to throw Cosby in prison for 30 years? I don’t think so.
However, I won’t buy into the canard that Cosby’s age by itself should compel sentencing leniency. As has been noted already, he wasn’t 80 when he attacked Constand; the assault occurred in 2004, meaning Cosby was a “spring chicken” of 66 years of age. As such, he ought to spend a good stretch of time behind bars.
I am left to wonder out loud whether we are witnessing the “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” movements coalescing at just the right moment as it regards Bill Cosby. The jury that heard this retrial convicted the once-revered Cosby after the emergence of the twin movements that arose from accusations of sexual abuse that have leveled high-level entertainers and politicians.
Cosby’s original trial, which ended with a hung jury in 2015, hadn’t yet been overshadowed by the movement that has empowered women around the world to speak out against abuse, harassment and assault.
We have entered a new era. Justice has been delivered to Bill Cosby. The man once known as “America’s Dad” has become “America’s Sexual Predator.”