In the weeks since decades-old rape allegations against comedian and actor Bill Cosby resurfaced thanks to a stand-up routine from comedian Hannibal Buress, multiple women have begun stepping forward with new accusations, claiming Cosby allegedly raped them. Though Cosby has never been charged with any crimes relating to the allegations, their stories are each as horrifying as the next — which leads us to the very important question. Now that the allegations, decades after they first arose, are finally receiving the public attention they deserve: Will Bill Cosby go to trial for these rape allegations?
And that question leads us to an even shorter, straight-forward answer: Due to the constraints of the law, no.
Whether or not these allegations are true (public opinion, as previously reported, has varied on this subject — personally, I believe in always trusting the statement of the victims first and foremost), the fact of the matter, sadly, is that the accusations describe crimes that allegedly occurred decades ago: In addition to statute of limitations laws on rape cases existing that could prevent Cosby from being tried for any alleged crimes that took place that long ago, there is — more importantly — also no physical evidence to test.
Eyewitness testimonies alone don't suffice in the place of solid DNA testing, and there's literally nothing pegging Cosby to any of these crimes apart from the accusations of the alleged victims. Most of the public may have made up their minds about whether or not Cosby is guilty of these horrifying crimes but, in the eyes of the law, he will remain a free man.
Though Cosby will likely never be put on trial for these accusations, he has lost a substantial amount regarding his career: Both NBC and Netflix have severed ties with him in light of the allegations, and The Cosby Show reruns have already been pulled from TVLand.
As for Cosby, his lawyer released the following statement last week:
Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.
Images: Getty Images