USA--Cosby reportedly seeking deal; Victims respond
For immediate release: Monday, Dec 12, 2016
Bill Cosby is reportedly seeking a plea deal. We hope that the prosecutor leaves this decision entirely up to the entertainer’s courageous victim. And we hope she insists on a trial.
Victims’ resiliency is often underestimated. While many victims of sexual violence can’t endure the rigors of a contentious trial, more of us are capable and willing than many in law enforcement believe. We hope Andrea Constand is one of them. Thus far, she’s shown remarkable strength and poise. Regardless of the actual outcome of this case, she’s already earned the gratitude of millions.
A trial would likely reveal even more wrongdoing by Cosby and those who protected him. It would likely be cathartic and healing for millions of victims of sexual violence. It would likely deter others from ignoring or hiding sex crimes and would likely encourage others who see, suspect or suffer such crimes to speak up.
But the decision here should rest solely with Ms. Constand. Again, she deserves nothing but praise irrespective of how this all ends.
Whatever happens, at some point, Cosby will begin to face from the limelight. When he does, we hope the crusade to reform archaic, predator-friendly statutes of limitations does not. The broader injustice here is that thousands and thousands of rape victims are denied their day in court because of a callous, arbitrary legal deadline. And the ultimate justice here will come when those barriers are removed, more offenders are exposed, more crimes are committed and more victims are heard.
(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)