After a first trial ended in a hung jury, a second jury Thursday found entertainer Bill Cosby guilty of three counts of sexual assault, bringing an end to one of the most storied career of an admired man in America.
His conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand 14 years ago becomes the first high-profile of the “MeToo” movement.
On the same day, the Washington Post provided details of claims that former NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw pursued women inside network offices over the years and drove at least one promising news woman out of the business.
The Post report shows similarities of Brokaw’s actions to the downfall of Today Show anchorman Matt Lauer, fired after details of outright sexual assault came to light. Brokaw escaped judgment or punishment. He has issued a strong denial of what he calls a “drive-by” character assassination” by the women who charged him, The Post and Variety.
Thursday’s conviction of Cosby and revelations of abuse by Lauer and Brokaw provide a little necessary “payback” for decades of sexual assault of women by men in power. It also is an epidemic that runs through our society where sex is a tool for assault, intimidation and terror.
We see these crimes throughout our society, even here in Floyd County and Southwestern Virginia.
In our county, 35 residents appear on the Virginia State Police Sexual Offender Registry. The number will increase to 36 with Jason Dalton, the former high school teacher and girls basketball coach convicted last week of sexual acts with a former female AAU student athlete.
A State Police investigation found a number of young girls — ranging from age 14 to 19 — who said they were victims of sexual assault by the man who slated to replace legendary Floyd County High School basketball coach Alan Cantrell after he retired last year.
On Monday, the last day of April, Circuit Judge Marc Long will sentence Carl Toivo of Copper Hill to aggravated sexual battery.
On the following day, May 1, Raymond Melvin Turner of Willis, faces a jury trial on two charges of aggravated sexual battery.
A trial date is pending or Willis Pastor pastor Nathan Ray Phillips — charged with indecent liberties, aggravated sexual battery and rape of an underage girl.
Nationally, Olympic doctor Larry Nasser abused gymnasts and other athletes for decades after warnings from victims — many of them underaged — were ignored. Finally, action was taken and he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
We learned years later that President John F. Kennedy took the virginity of a White House intern in his wife’s bedroom of the White House and pursued women sexually for years. Bill Clinton’s dalliances with intern Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office are a matter of public record.
Current President Donald Trump, a thrice-married man who openly admitted adultery during his first and second marriages, faces charges of a one-night fling with a porn star during his third marriage and an extended affair with a Playboy playmate.
Trump denies the charges but more than two dozen women have charged him with sexual assault over the years, including a charge of raping an underage teenage model. In divorce proceedings from first wife Ivana, she said he raped her.
Bill Cosby faces up to 30 years in prison for his conviction Thursday — punishment for three of his many crimes.
Overdue? Absolutely. Others, sadly, escape punishment and justice. They are crimes against society and should be treated as such.