133297
133185

World  

MeToo looms for Cosby

Jurors couldn't agree the first time around whether to accept a woman's story that "America's Dad," Bill Cosby, sexually assaulted her over a decade ago. Now, he faces a retrial in less than 90 days in a vastly different cultural climate, one in which powerful men from Hollywood to the U.S. Senate are being toppled by allegations of sexual misconduct.

The jury in Cosby's case was deadlocked on charges he drugged and molested a woman in 2004, and the judge declared a mistrial in June. But that was before the revelations about movie producer Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement burst into the public sphere.

The shift is clearly on Cosby's mind. He quipped to a reporter after shaking her hand Wednesday outside a Philadelphia restaurant: "Please don't put me on MeToo."

Legal experts say the seismic change in believing and supporting victims of sexual harassment and assault — and the near-immediate ramifications for so many famous men — will surely trickle into the Cosby retrial, slated to begin April 2.

"Given the split last time, the challenge is going to be in jury selection," said Los Angeles lawyer Mark Geragos, who is not involved in the Cosby case but whose clients have included Michael Jackson. "Almost all cases are won and lost in jury selection, this case in particular."

In Cosby's first trial, jury selection was moved to Pittsburgh over defence fears that widespread publicity could make it difficult to find unbiased jurors in the Philadelphia area. Cosby has a new legal team, and its strategy may be very different.

The star of "The Cosby Show" is charged with knocking out accuser Andrea Constand with pills and sexually assaulting her at his home near Philadelphia. He has said Constand, a former executive with Temple University's women's basketball program, consented to their sexual encounter.

As the #MeToo movement gained momentum, the accused lost jobs, TV shows, book deals and a Senate seat. Kevin Spacey was even erased from a completed movie.

"I think the shift is here to stay," said Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women's Law Project in Philadelphia. "It might not be on the front page next year, but I do think it will have a significant impact going forward in the criminal justice system and on how jurors view these cases."

Constand's lawyer said she was floored to hear Cosby's comment about the #MeToo movement.

"Apparently Mr. Cosby still believes sexual assault is a laughing matter," said attorney Dolores Troiani. "You have to hope he is alone in that opinion."



More World News

World
49333
London Webcam
Webcam provided by webcams.travel
56309
Recent Trending
55162
Okanagan Oldies
58362
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
58362



133657
133610