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Bill Cosby Case Engenders Mixed Reactions in Baltimore

Bill Cosby speaks at Frederick Douglass High School during his visit to the school in 2006. Photo: Scott King

Bill Cosby Case brings attention to his life as seen in this photo where he speaks at Frederick Douglass  High School during his visit to the school in 2006. Photo: Scott King

ENTERTAINMENTBaltimoreans conflated about Bill Cosby Case which continues to generate intense debates

BY KAZAD

Protesters gather outside Kitchener’s Centre In The Square as Bill Cosby prepares to perform. via Wikimedia Commons

BALTIMORE- The Bill Cosby case is generating intense discussions across Baltimore, Maryland. Since Bill Cosby appeared in a courtroom in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania last year for aggravated indecent assault charges, his arrest and arraignment has been a major topic of discussion across Baltimore. The arraignment stemming from an alleged 2004 incident in Pennsylvania, has giving many people the opportunity to reassess the career of this celebrated African American actor. On MTA buses, in the streets and different corners, the idea that Cosby allegedly sexually assaulted women  has continued to generate intense discussions.

 

ENTERTAINMENT FILM  | READ ALSO: Bill Cosby Lawyers Promise Vigorous Defense Against Sexual Assault Case

In a 2005 deposition, Andrea Constand claimed that Cosby allegedly sexually assaulted her. According to Constand, Cosby gave her piles and wine which made her unresponsive and unable to move. It was then, Constand claimed, Cosby allegedly sexually assaulted her. This claim was reiterated by the newly elected First Assistant District Attorney of Montgomery County PA Kevin Steele. Speaking to reporters, he explained:  “On the evening in question, Cosby urged her to take pills that he provided her and to drink wine, the effect of which rendered her unable to move.” The pill, according to attorney Steele, rendered the victim “frozen” and “paralyzed.” It was then that Cosby allegedly assaulted her.

In the deposition unsealed the in summer of 2015 by U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno, Cosby admitted to giving Quaaludes to a woman with whom he wanted to have sex.

The Constand case was reopened after a year of speculations. “We examined all the evidence and we made this determination because it was the right thing to do,” said Steele during a recent press conference. Aggravated indecent assault charges is a second degree felony charge. If convicted, Cosby faces up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

In the last one year, more than 50 women have alleged that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them. Cosby has consistently maintained his innocence in all the allegations, including the Constand case. In December,  Bill Cosby filed a defamation counter-suit in U.S. District Court against seven of his accusers. His lawyers have also vowed a vigorous defense against  the 2004 sexual assault case.

While some people, especially Cosby fans, think reopening the Constand case is a witch hunt, there are those who believe that District Attorney Kevin Steele is justified in reopening the case. ‘About time’, says Andrew a Baltimore resident.

As the debate intensifies among Baltimoreans, Artcentron went about to talk to some people about their views of the Bill Cosby case.  The responses are divers and thought provoking.

 Baltimoreans Discuss the Bill Cosby Case

Robert : I know of the case. I saw it on TV yesterday. I can’t believe how old the man has become. It is very strange how time changes people. It is really crazy that they are reopening this case that has been closed for more than 12 years. For what reason? To shame the man? The woman has received compensation. Even though the man was not found guilty, he paid some restitution. That should be the end of it. What do they what from him again?

“It is really crazy that they are reopening this case that has been closed for more than 12 years. For what reason? To shame the man? The woman has received compensation. Even though the man was not found guilty, he paid some restitution.”

Harrison: This is a race issue. How many white people have been treated this way? Look, the man is the most celebrated African American actor. He is a role model for many young African Americans. When a black man is successful, they do everything to bring him down. The Bill Cosby case is an example of that.  Look at President Obama. They have done everything to destroy him. First they say he is not an American, then, they do everything to destroy his legacy. At what point in history has anyone said a white president is not an American? Answer me?  No answer?

“When a black man is successful, they do everything to bring him down.The Bill Cosby case is an example of that.  Look at President Obama. They have done everything to destroy him.”

Corry: Haaaha, the Bill Cosby case. I have read almost everything I can about the case in the papers. The only conclusion I can draw is that this case is politically motivated. I read in the Washington Post that this case was part of the political debate during the election for the District Attorney of Montgomery County PA. Guess who is filling the new case? The man who made the Bill Cosby case the central issue of his campaign. He is the one reopening the case. That should tell you something!

Dmitri : I was just talking about the Bill Cosby case with some of my friends, and they kept saying “this is racism, this is racism, “as if that will make it true. This is not racism! Do you know how many women have accused him of sexual assault? 57! 57 women have accused him of one form of sexual impropriety or another. All those who call it racism forget that there is a pattern to the  behavior. In the deposition that was released last summer, Cosby himself admitted that he gave Quaaludes to a woman with whom he wanted to have sex. All the other woman who have accused Cosby of sexual assault have said the same thing.  If you ask me, I will tell you that that is the mark of a serial rapist.

“This is not racism! Do you know how many women have accused him of sexual assault? 57! 57 women have accused him of one form of sexual impropriety or another. All those who call it racism forget that there is a pattern to the behavior”

Sean: I really don’t what to tell you except that I am mad about how they are treating the man. I saw him on TV and he looked very frail. I don’t think he can even see good. When he tripped over a stone, I felt even greater sympathy for him. The parade was shameful. What I do not understand is that this is the same court system that refused to prosecute the killing of a 12 year old African American by a white police officer. I don’t know how to square that.

Donyell: We were just talking about the case at work. People are just saying different things. We all didn’t know the facts then. I  don’t see how he is going to jail. I just don’t see how he will be convicted by any jury.

Dameria: It is really interesting how  what goes around comes around. Several years ago, he was going around saying nasty things about young African Americans. He said young African Americans  are a disgrace because they don’t pull up their pants. I think he also said some annoying things about African American fathers.  Now we know he is worse than the people he was criticizing.

“He said young African Americans  are a disgrace because they don’t pull up their pants. I think he also said some annoying things about African American fathers.  Now we know he is worse than the people he was criticizing.”

Malachi: Everyone seems to think that the man is guilty. From the way they are talking, it is like he should be locked up and the keys thrown away. What happened to presumptions of innocence until found guilty. This will be a  difficult case to prove. For one, the case has  not been touched for almost twelve years. Also, the woman willingly accepted the pill.  It is going to be a difficult case to prove.

“Everyone seems to think that the man is guilty. From the way they are talking, it is like he should be locked up and the keys thrown away. What happened to presumptions of innocence until found guilty.”

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This interview was conducted on new year’s eve. While the views expressed by the respondents are theirs, they show the complexities of the Bill Cosby case

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