Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison for Sexual assault

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Bill Cosby, popularly known as the “America’s Dad” was on Tuesday sentenced to three to ten years in state prison by a Pennsylvania judge for sexual assault. The world-acclaimed comedian and the major character in the famous the Cosby Show was described by the Judge as a “sexually violent predator.”

Following accusations from 60 women against Mr. Cosby, some of the accusations dated back 50 years ago, the judge sentenced the 80-year-old comedian to 3 to 10 years in prison for aggravated indecent assault, sexual assault and drugging of Andrea Constand at his home in a Philadelphia suburb in 2004. The two-day hearing was attended by about a dozen women, most of them, the accusers.

The imprisonment of Bill Cosby, who left the courtroom to the State prison handcuffed is another case of a celebrity and arguably moral authority falling from the grace to the grace. To some, it is a case of betrayal. It equally raises important questions on the male macho attitude about women and the urgent need to treat women with respect and dignity. More than that, the conviction of Bill Cosby opens the same old debate on the racial relations in the USA. If anything, the debate helps polarise the already divided races in the country, as well as creates tension and mistrust amongst different US races – especially between the White and Black communities.

While some group of individual insists the conviction of the legendary comedian is another systematic plot by allegedly racist Whites to destroy famous blacks in the USA, others wonder why Bill Cosby, seen both in the USA and globally as the epitome of a perfect family, would rather first drug women before engaging in a sexual act with them. Could such a move by him be consensual in a sexual relationship? Would the drugging of a woman be necessary if the sex with her was consensual? Was Bill Cosby’s action a perfect reflection of typical (powerful) men’s sexist attitude towards women seen as sex objects? Today it is Mr. Cosby, next is Harvey Weinstein. The USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar is serving up to 175 years in prison for abusing young female gymnasts who were entrusted to his care. The counting continues.

For sure, the Bill Cosby imprisonment debate would go on along the racial lines, regardless, unless men change their attitude and behaviour towards women and treat them with equality, respect and dignity, the tension amongst different groups in the society will always remain high and the relationship, indeed, strained.

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