What It Means For Women If Bill Cosby Gets Off

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Unless Bill Cosby is found guilty of at least one of the charges he is facing, rapists of the future will have good reason to believe that a man can buy the wherewithal to abuse women. It might get real expensive, to be sure — it must have cost Cosby tens of millions, by now, to indulge his hobby — but if he gets off, it will be because the admissions he made in deposition and to police regarding his relations with Andrea Constand, utterly damning as they are, were not enough to convict him.

Tuesday morning the jury asked to see a substantial amount of Cosby’s deposition relating to the administration of the alleged Benadryl pills he gave Constand. It took Judge O’Neill a long time to read it all — about 45 minutes.

Cosby’s accounts of the sexual encounter were very explicit. There was kissing, intense foreplay, and “then she took her hand and put it on top of my hand to push it in further. I move my fingers… She was wet when I went in.” It is a thoroughly bizarre tale with no description of a preamble, no escalation, and, strangely, no consummation on the part of Cosby himself. The two were “not lovers, but warm,” he says.

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Maybe this doesn’t sound as deranged to everybody as it does to me, and sexuality may be fluid and all, but again, none of Cosby’s descriptions of what went on sound like ordinary human sexual contact. How does a relationship that is “escalating” sexually, a relationship that by Cosby’s own admission he initiated, between consenting, “romantic” adults, remain unconsummated after such intense foreplay, with one of the two “lovers” passed out on a sofa? Because according to Cosby himself, that is what happened.

“Did you ejaculate?”

“No.”

The jury appears to be getting very close to a verdict. They asked most recently: “What is knowledge?” or to be more precise, “Will you please define what it means in Count 3: “Without her knowledge.” To which Judge O’Neill replied, “In this case I am not permitted to define any further terms, and it is for the jury to determine under that charge what they mean.”

I’m sticking by my original prediction that there will be a conviction, at least on the Intoxicant count. But, you know: juries. It is always conceivable that they will acquit.

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Such an outcome would drive a real wedge between the men and women of this country. The safety of women will be in increased jeopardy. The worst people will be emboldened. And all this comes down to the hubris of one really unwell old man, and what twelve people from Pittsburgh, arguing in a room in Norristown, PA, conclude about what he did to Andrea Constand.

But how can that happen, when the following question posed to Cosby in deposition resulted in the following answer?

“What effect did [the pills] have on her?”

“Well obviously, not the effect I wanted.”

This article was originally published on Death and Taxes.

Tags: Bill Cosby