PA--Victims group applauds charges vs. Cosby
For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2015
Finally, Bill Cosby faces criminal charges. This should have happened ages ago. But we’re grateful it’s happening now. And it should prod more victims and more prosecutors to take more action against more rapists.
We’ve long said that too often criminal charges against those who commit or conceal sexual violence are possible but not pursued. We’ve long challenged prosecutors to be more aggressive and creative about going after these offenders. We’ve long maintained that a lack of political will, sometimes as much as a lack of adequate laws, prevents more predators from being nailed.
So we applaud the recently-elected prosecutor Montgomery County PA District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who reversed a decision by her predecessor and filed today’s charges.
We hope law enforcement officials in Los Angeles will soon filed more charges against Cosby, either on behalf of Chloe Goins or other victims. We applaud the courage of Ms. Goins and every one of the dozens of Cosby victims who have stepped forward.
Let’s be clear: Laws about sexual violence need reforming, especially the archaic, arbitrary and predator-friendly statutes of limitations. But until this happens, two clichés are applicable: “There are many ways to skin a cat” and “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” We urge law enforcement officials to dig deep, work hard, think creatively and act aggressively, using any and all legal theories and approaches to charge known and suspected sexual predators, even if they fear novel efforts may not ultimately succeed. It’s often better, in our view, to take more chances, expose more offenders, and protect more victims even if shrewd lawyers for serial rapists manage to exploit technicalities and evade actual punishment.
And we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes or cover ups by Cosby or his backers, friends or family to summon the strength to call police and prosecutors.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.