Sunday, October 24, 2021

Andrea Constand: ‘Mr. Cosby’s fame and fortune should not have protected him from being held accountable for his crimes’

There is “no excuse” for Thursday’s historic decision to release William Cosby, the comedian and accused rapist who will be living his 70th birthday weekend behind bars.

Andrea Constand, one of Cosby’s dozens of accusers whose case prompted his sexual assault conviction and sent him to prison on Thursday, is furious.

“The media made Mr. Cosby a celebrity on the basis of his fame, fortune and notoriety,” Constand wrote in a statement released on Facebook Friday. “A celebrity is not a god and does not get away with everything.”

Instead, she said, “Mr. Cosby’s fame and fortune should not have protected him from being held accountable for his crimes.”

More than 50 women have publicly accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them in incidents dating back to the 1960s, but Constand’s case, brought by Pennsylvania prosecutors in 2004, was the only one to result in a criminal conviction against him.

That conviction, which was then reversed when Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill granted Cosby a new trial, was his only one. And that case, not his countless other brushes with allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct that marred his many years of fame and success, will now seal his reputation as a convicted criminal.

Cosby, who was held accountable for forcing himself upon Constand in January 2004 while she waited for a bus, is now preparing to embark on a home sentence. Despite being convicted of three felony counts, Cosby’s oldest of the charges carry no prison sentence, so the comedian must serve no more than one year in prison before being released.

“There is no excuse for Mr. Cosby using his power and influence to attack a young woman,” Constand said. “After admitting to drugging women to rape them and for years lying about it, Mr. Cosby should know better.”

Constand’s remarks largely echoed those of another Cosby accuser, Beverly Johnson, who told The Washington Post that Cosby “evaded the truth for so long and he still hasn’t turned over any light, so I’m glad that justice has finally been served.”

Johnson, a groundbreaking model who has accused Cosby of trying to entice her into a relationship after dinner at the Playboy Mansion, noted that she had changed her mind about Cosby earlier in the trial when a reading of one of his previous written statements – which Constand said failed to note the fact that he had drugged and assaulted her in the 1970s – prompted her to believe that Cosby could have caused the brain damage that caused her to later lose her ability to see well.

Constand stood by her statement at Cosby’s trial, and again when prosecutors sought to have her barred from the trial after she did not sign a waiver of confidentiality at the start of the investigation. The judge overruled the prosecution, and Constand’s initial statement to police was reviewed before she provided it on the stand.

“I stood by my truth,” Constand said. “I was in my right to stand up for myself. “

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