Cosby found guilty on three felony counts

Eighty-year-old actor faces up to 30 years in prison

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020

Photo by Mark Makela

Over 50 women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault over the years.

This past year has been an eye-opening period in Hollywood, as a slew of high-profile celebrities and public figures have been accused of sexual assault and misconduct following the infamous downfall of Harvey Weinstein in October of 2017.

Left and right, the public has rapidly been made aware of the horrors that occur backstage in Hollywood, as high-status men like Ed Westwick (“Gossip Girl”), Matt Lauer, Louis C.K., and Danny Masterson (“That 70’s Show”) face career-ending accusations of the worst sort.

On Thursday, one of these despicable men finally answered for his heinous actions. Bill Cosby, of “The Cosby Show,” has been found guilty on three felony counts. These counts include penetration with lack of consent, penetration while unconscious and penetration after administering an intoxicant, according to Huffington Post.

Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by over 50 women. His guilty conviction was finally brought on by accusations made by Andrea Constand, who Cosby drugged and raped in his home about 14 years ago, according to The New York Times.

Cosby is facing up to only ten years for each of his convictions. So at the most, this world-renowned actor and comedian will only serve 30 years in prison for what he has done. This doesn’t even take into consideration the dozens of other accusations regarding Cosby dealt out over the years.

It’s easy to argue that this 80-year-old man will probably spend the remainder of his life behind bars, but what about the other high-profile monsters who have assaulted countless other victims? Assuming Cosby’s trial sets a positive precedence for sexual assault trials in the future, must we simply accept that many of these accused men will be freed to harm again before the end of their lives?

According to the Me Too Movement website, 17.7 million women have reported being sexually assaulted since 1998. Following Cosby’s conviction, three of his accusers shared “emotional embraces” outside of the courtroom as they celebrated an end to a traumatic, decades-long journey, Huffington Post reported. With so many women going through such a trying experience, the convictions of their attackers would surely provide the closure necessary to move on.

Unfortunately, not all victims receive this closure — particularly in cases where their attacker holds more status than the victim. I am sick of men in positions of power acting as though they have any right to treat women like lesser objects.

Of course, there are plenty of men out there who do not abuse their power — just as their are powerless men who act just as horrendously — but there is something about wealth and notability that really brings an extra level of repulsiveness to the public perceptions of these men and their actions (This was not meant to be an intentional dig at a certain president, but feel free to interpret it that way).

Despite the despicable nature behind Thursday’s trial, a ray of hope now shines over Hollywood, and over the heads of the millions of people who have been sexually assaulted. A powerful man has been brought down. Justice has been served. A new beginning in regards to the unheard victims of sexual assault is underway.

While things are still far from ideal in today’s society, at least one is certain — Gloria Allred, the attorney who represented many of Cosby’s accusers at Thursday’s trial, put it best when she told The New York Times: “After all is said and done, women were finally believed.”