Attorney Jeff Herman is a civil attorney specializing in cases of sexual assault. Rather than being involved with the criminal proceedings which can end in jail time, he handles lawsuits often against institutions that employ sexual predators and should be protecting their clients against these dangerous individuals too.
While watching the Cosby retrial he thought not just about it impacted his own practice, but how it impacted society as a whole. Thankfully these days it isn’t as common to revictimize a rape survivor. Not only that but more people are coming forward. It is also more common for the survivor to be believed. However, the Cosby trial was rife with victim shaming and rape culture in the defense of Bill Cosby. This defense was not effective in the least and the jury quickly convicted him of his crimes.
In his review of the trial proceedings, he found that around sixty women had accused Cosby, but because of the statute of limitations, only one charge was brought to trial. The people of the state of Pennsylvania brought that charge on behalf of Andrea Constand. During the first trial only the testimony of one victim was heard, and in 2017 a jury failed to return a verdict. In the second trial, five victims testified that Cosby had in some instances given them drugs and in others got them drunk and assaulted them. They were able to show a clear and consistent pattern in Cosby’s actions.
Ms. Constand claimed that the incident happened at the Philadephia home of Cosby in January of 2004. She said that he had invited her over to discuss her career plans, though he claimed that the two had been involved romantically since shortly after they had met. According to Ms. Constand, he gave her what was suppose to have been herbal supplements. However, she was soon seeing double vision then blacked out. She testified that she came to with Cosby assaulting her.
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