After walking last week when the jury at his sexual assault trial couldn’t come to a verdict, Bill Cosby is planning to travel around the country to educate men – specifically athletes and married men – how to avoid getting charged with offenses similar to the one he faced.
“Mr. Cosby wants to get back to work,” the comedian/actor’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt told WBRC Fox6 News anchor in Birmingham this week (via Washington Post). “We are now planning town halls. …
“This is bigger than Bill Cosby,” Wyatt continued. “This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today, and they need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they’re doing certain things they shouldn’t be doing. And it also affects married men.”
No one is advocating rape here, but Wyatt’s point that athletes are often the targets of unwarranted accusation is valid.
Predictably, though, the whole town hall plan isn’t going over well with feminists.
“It would be more useful if Mr. Cosby would spend time talking with people about how not to commit sexual assault in the first place,” said Jodi Omear of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) told Newsweek.
Wyatt brought with him Ebonee Benson, who works at Wyatt’s PR shop, Purpose PR, perhaps to add a female voice to the campaign. Benson stressed that statute of limitations laws are loosening and so are people’s perspectives about what constitutes sexual assault in these hyper-sensitive times.
“Laws are changing,” Benson said. “The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended, so this is why people need to be educated on a brush against a shoulder, anything at this point can be considered sexual assault. It’s a good thing to be educated about the laws.”
While 60 women have stepped forward to accuse Cosby of drugging and raping them, the prosecution’s case against him was weak – and to Benson’s point, the long time frame between Cosby’s alleged crime and the trial had a lot to do with that.
Cosby was on trial for raping one woman – Andrea Constand – not 60, and the alleged attack occurred in 2004. Constand had trouble consistently piecing together the details, to be expected considering whatever happened happened 13 years ago.
So while the nation melted down when the Cosby jury was declared “hopelessly deadlocked,” no one should have been surprised.