The Story: Christian University Stands by Decision to Keep Bill Cosby as Speaker at Benefit Dinner, Despite Outcry From Sexual Assault Victims Group
“Multiple” women have come out and alleged that comedian, Bill Cosby sexually assaulted and/or raped them. A Christian University invited Bill Cosby to speak at an event and people are angry that the haven’t uninvited him in light of these allegations.
What the Hell happened to “innocent until proven guilty?”
I’m serious. Just about every country – even the religion of Islam – has an understanding that a person is innocent until proven guilty. The United Nations include presumption of innocence in Article 11 in their Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And almost just as universally understood, if there is the presumption of innocence, there is the burden of proof on the accused. The accused must produce proof of guilt.
Presumption of innocence. Burden of proof. These are foundational concepts for every civilized justice system and civilized society.
This is NOT a foreign concept – and yet – every where you look people completely ignore it! They ignored it with the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, they ignored it with the Duke Lacrosse team, and they’re ignoring it now.
If there is one thing I hate about the Internet and the 24-hour news cycle, it’s that it spreads the assumption of guilt like a virus.
Here are the facts – so far as they actually matter to the general public:
I did my home work and I searched and searched. So far as I can tell, Bill Cosby has never been indicted nor arrested for any kind of assault crime. He’s been accused, and there has been one police investigation back in the late 1970’s but he was not arrested nor charged because the was not enough evidence.
Not. Enough. Evidence.
Some of the women who are accusing him now are suing him in civil court. This is presumably because the statute of limitations has passed – meaning he can’t be criminally prosecuted for the crime after a certain time. We do know that one of these lawsuits was settled. One of Cosby’s accusers accepted the settlement to stop the lawsuit.
Did Bill Cosby assault or rape these women? I have no idea. None, what so ever. And neither does anyone else. The only way we’ll know is if these cases go to court and Cosby is convicted. That’s how the justice system works.
But facts don’t get likes on Facebook:
There’s something about the crimes of rape and sexual assault that flips a switch in society. Some people ignore it, and that pisses off people who rightly say it shouldn’t be ignored. It enrages other people to the point that they grab their proverbial pitchforks and torches and gather in mobs of comments to online stories. It seems like you can have any opinion as long as you don’t say: I don’t know what happened and I’m not going to cast a judgment.
You can’t not have an opinion on rape.
Thankfully it seams that most people find these kinds of crimes a abhorrent as they are – and worthy of justice. Often, the mob takes a stand on an issue and nothing changes their minds. Once accused, always guilty.
I’m not standing up for Cosby. I’m not standing up for these women. I don’t know what happened so I’m not going to have any opinion on it – until we the people – a jury of peers not of public opinion – have a verdict.
As for a school not canceling the Cosby event
All I can say about this is that Bill Clinton – the 42nd President of the United States of America – has just as many similar accusations of rape and sexual assault as Bill Cosby and he’s routinely paid $500,000 per speech.
If we’re going to have standards – they need to be uniform.
Cosby is innocent until he is proven guilty in a court of law. Don’t hang him before the verdict is passed.