Bill Cosby was recently sentenced to 3-10 years in state prison for sexually assaulting a woman at his Philadelphia home back in 2004. Cosby has gone from a treasured, national icon to a convicted felon in just over a year. Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill denied Cosby’s request for bail pending his appeal. Cosby took off his suit jacket, watch, and tie in the courtroom as two deputy sheriffs handcuffed him and transported him to county jail. From there he will be transferred to a state facility, where he will be evaluated and then sent to a state prison. It’s likely that he will end up in a prison for older inmates.
This whole case is sad. To start, the fact that this happened at all is horrific and unimaginable. Second – and this isn’t to diminish anything that the victims are going through, but it’s sad to see someone that was held in such high esteem for so long take that long fall from grace. Don’t get me wrong, this is completely his own doing and he deserves whatever punishment is coming his way. What I’m saying is that it’s odd for the rest of us to wrap our heads around “America’s Dad” sexually assaulting so many women for so many years. Isn’t it? Or is it just me? Every time I hear about a new sexual assault by someone famous, I cringe a little. I think it’s hard for us as a society to wrap our heads around the idea that someone we think of in a particular way could do anything like that.
Which just goes to show that we hold actors in a light, like no others. I mean now we are looking at hashtags which suggest that we should be believing the victims. And I’m not saying that we shouldn’t, but the fact that we have to remind society that the victims (usually women) are telling the truth. There are times when it comes out that the person has been cleared of any wrongdoing, but those cases are minimal, it seems, so why do we still doubt that these crimes actually happened?
It’s because it’s people like Bill Cosby committing them. If you asked anyone what they thought about Bill Cosby 5 years ago, you would get a completely different answer than you would today. He would be called a great comedian, someone who is well liked, and maybe even someone you could trust. But sure enough, most of that isn’t true anymore. Sure, he’s still a great comedian, but no one is laughing at what he has to say because of the horrific things that he’s done to women.
It’s this reason that we tend to side with the abuser. Or at least we think that they could not have committed such a horrific crime. But they can, and they do. So instead of thinking – there’s no way that Bill Cosby could have done that, he’s “America’s Dad”, we need to be thinking – “what if Bill Cosby did that?” I’m not saying that we should automatically take the victim’s side, but society needs to be open to the fact that there are monsters out there willing to commit sexual offenses. This is the world that we live in now, unfortunately. And with that, Cosby could serve a maximum of 10 years in prison, but I suspect he will get released early with good behavior.