Bill Cosby's Lawyer Responds To Rape Allegations But His Words are Disappointing
It's not quite a silence-breaking, but Bill Cosby's lawyer has finally released a statement in regards to the resurfacing of his client's rape allegations. Unfortunately the statement itself consists of the verbal equivalent of Cosby's continued silence. It's pretty much the most you can say without really saying anything at all.
According to The Wrap attorney John. P. Schmitt released the following statement Sunday:
Schmitt makes reference to "discredited allegations" against his client, likely referring to the Andrea Constand case, which a judge dismissed for lack of evidence. Constand later filed a civil claim against Cosby, which was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. It was this civil claim, too, that also brought out of the woodwork twelve other woman claiming Cosby sexually assaulted them, including Tamara Green and Barbara Bowman, the latter of whom wrote a Washington Post op-ed recently entitled "Bill Cosby Raped Me. Why Did It Take 30 Years For People to Believe My Story?"
The thing about these "discredited" claims is that it is hard not to look at the other relevant elements here: That twelve is a lot of women to be lying about something so personal and so traumatic, and that bringing sexual assault cases to justice within the criminal justice system is notoriously difficult — according to RAINN only three out of every 100 rapists serve time. Only 40 out of that hundred actually get reported to the police; only four out of the hundred get a felony conviction, and only eight out of that hundred get prosecuted.
In this context the dismissal and settlement of Green's case is only one part of the puzzle, and one that arguably shouldn't be speaking louder than the voices of the women who are still so insistently speaking out even after 30 years of being zoned out. Just look at how Green explained her decision to press charges so long after the alleged assault, as she recalled in a Newsweek interview earlier this year:
On why she didn't press charges when it allegedly initially occurred:
It is important to remember in cases like this that the public is not a judge or jury. But it is also important to acknowledge that rape culture is present in every inch of things like this, especially when you are dealing with someone as powerful and wealthy as Cosby — and especially when you are dealing with someone who the public is very resistant to looking at the dark side of.
So Cosby and his attorneys may not want to "dignify these allegations with any comment," but they're the kind of accusations that deserve dignifying.