OH--Toledo abuse victims blast upcoming Cosby appearance
For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 8
Statement by Claudia Vercellotti of Toledo, SNAP leader 419-345-9291 , [email protected]
We are very disappointed that Bill Cosby will perform soon in northwestern Ohio. We urge promoters and ticket-buyers to reconsider whether they want to be linked with a man who is accused of molesting one child and assaulting more than 20 women. In deference to all victims of violent sexual crimes, we hope the event will be cancelled. And we hope that at least some who’ve bought tickets will stay away.
When credibly accused sex offenders keep getting plaudits and paychecks, it depresses crime victims and discourages them from reporting sexual predators and protecting others. And it rubs even more salt into already deep and often still fresh wounds. In light of the sheer number of women who have come forward, it adds insult to injury to allow Cosby to perform at this time.
We applaud the brave women who are speaking up about Cosby’s alleged crimes. That takes real courage. We hope other women and girls who were assaulted by this shrewd predator will find ways to seek justice against him. We hope those who have information will continue to come forward.
Finally, we urge others who were hurt by Cosby to consider filing police reports and civil lawsuits against him and his public relations staff. As my fellow SNAP leader Barbara Dorris said last month:
"Ever so gradually, courts are more open to novel arguments that overcome the archaic, predator-friendly statutes of limitations that protect child molesters. And ever so gradually, legislators are suspending, extending or eliminating those arbitrary and unwise statutes. Kids are safer as a result."
The bar for criminal prosecution is high. Police and prosecutors often feel pressured to focus largely on recent crimes. And few in law enforcement relish the idea of taking on a popular, powerful and wealthy defendant like Cosby.
So criminal charges against Cosby are unlikely. So if innocent children are to be protected and wounded adults are to be healed, civil justice must happen. Civilized societies pursue war criminals decades after their wrongdoing. Our Justice Department pursues racists who terrorized African Americans during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. So why can’t we also pursue those who terrorize kids decades late, especially given research that shows sex offenders rarely stop?
Why should Cosby’s victims sue? To help themselves find closure, recovery and expose the truth. To inspire other child sex abuse victims to speak up. To expose how inadequate our child safety laws are is a bold step in protecting future generations of kids. And to remind us all that no legal deadline should prevent wounded victims from exposing criminals in court. As evidenced by the dozens of women who have come forward, risking everything, the clock may have stopped on their chance for justice in the courtroom, but there is no statute of limitation on the pain and suffering that envelops sexual assault.
We hope the revelations against Cosby will prod more victims to sue and more lawmakers to reform hurtful laws that block victims from justice.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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)
Contact - David Clohessy, 314-566-9790, [email protected], Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003, [email protected], Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747, [email protected] Claudia Vercellotti, 419-345-9291, [email protected]