Three Pennsylvania Superior Court judges will convene to hear out Bill Cosby’s appeal against his sexual assault convictions, and it is more severe than anyone could think. Bill Cosby was one of the first celebrities who was called out for his misdemeanor and violence against the other gender. Moreover, so the precedents set in this appeal and the court decisions will build the path for the future cases and fate of the victims of the #MeToo victims.
— AP Eastern US (@APEastRegion)
— AP Eastern US (@APEastRegion) August 11, 2019
The case has been under a lot of public scrutinies since day one and is an integral part of the movement itself. Professor Margaret Johnson, who teaches gender law at the University of Baltimore School of Law, shared that if the appeal is reversed the people who have finally spoken up after years of discrimination will be subjected to more disbelieve and backlash for speaking up. She further added that she has been struck by the power of the backlash against MeToo.
From being ridiculed and harassed, and even becoming victims of more gender violence and ostracism, women breaking their silence already have a hard life ahead. Moreover, it will all become more difficult with the judgments of the Cosby appeal. There are already #NotMeMovements coming up, and lawyers and journalists questioning the mental state and ulterior motives of the women.
Since 2004 when the Cosby trial first went on trial in June 2017, and 13 other women have been called to reinforce the accounts of the accuser Andrea Constand. Cosby’s public personality and years of an established image have his lawyers already making scathing attacks. The case has even been under retrials with judges calling more testimonials and accounts. However, the “prior bad act” testimony from the other victims is the core of the appeal.
Pennsylvanian law allows in limited cases: to show a “signature” crime pattern; to prove that an act was not an accident, and to invalidate defense claims of consent. Accuser Heidi Thomas called the entertainer “a serial rapist.” Furthermore, “Not once were a race or the #MeToo movement ever discussed, nor did either factor into our decision,” the jury stated, in response to the defense suggestions that racism and #MeToo had tainted the case.
— Bill Cosby (@BillCosby)
Thank you to all of my friends, supporters and family members for wishing me a Happy 82nd Birthday. Many of my fellow residents [SCI Phoenix] asked, “Mr. Cosby – is there anything special you would like for your birthday?” I politely replied that the greatest present for me is: pic.twitter.com/UBtSORwjez
— Bill Cosby (@BillCosby) July 12, 2019
Bill Cosby turned 82 last month while staying in state prison, where he has been serving his 3 to a 10-year term. The high profile and precedent founding case have RAINN President Scott Berkowitz stating that it is particularly crucial if survivors around the country are watching it closely and making up their minds as to whether to come forward and report their assault to police. Moreover, a wrong verdict or an appeal could be discouraging in this case.