And today in outrageous, enraging news: Accused serial rapist Bill Cosby will teach youth to avoid sexual assault charges. In a Thursday interview just days after Cosby narrowly dodged a conviction in his own sexual assault trial, two spokespeople for the entertainer shared that he would host workshops on the subject. Considering that the 79-year-old former comedian and sitcom star's dramatic, calamitous fall from grace is the result of dozens of women accusing him of drugging and sexually assaulting him over the course of five decades (although he was never found guilty, and his case went to mistrial), it feels insensitive to have him speak on the subject. As such, social media users were appropriately appalled when the news broke.
A Pennsylvania judge declared a mistrial in a case involving just one of Cosby's many accusers just last week after the jury reportedly deadlocked 10-2. The majority were in favor of conviction on two charges of aggravated indecent assault against him, an unnamed juror told ABC News. Cosby has maintained his innocence since the scandal exploded in recent years, and the allegations of most of his 60 accusers fall outside of statutes of limitation for such a crime.
Despite all this, the district attorney from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, does plan to retry the case. So, it seemed not only appalling, but also tactically questionable, for spokesperson Andrew Wyatt to announce Cosby's plans to host workshops on the subject.
During an appearance on Good Day Alabama Thursday, Wyatt said that Cosby plans to host a series of town halls for young people in Birmingham starting as early as July. By some insane leap of logic, Cosby and his team somehow believe mobilizing to help people avoid being charged with sexual assault is a good idea, as Wyatt explained:
We'll talk to young people because this is bigger than Bill Cosby. This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today, and they need to know what they're facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they're doing certain things that they shouldn’t be doing. And it also affects married men.
Another spokesperson, Ebonee Benson, chimed in to say that people need to be educated about what the laws surrounding sexual assault actually are. Because, in her view, even "a brush against the shoulder" or a gesture that's equally innocuous "can be considered sexual assault." That, of course, is absurd — and Cosby's accusers allege that he committed much, much more egregious acts than inadvertently brushing against them.
So, Twitter users mobilized to highlight the ridiculousness of Cosby's reported decision to talk about sexual assault in public.
Others offered the only advice that anyone should give about avoiding being charged with sexual assault — and that's not to sexually assault anyone in the first place.
Obviously, this is another blow to Cosby's alleged victims:
Right now, the Cosby camp hasn't unveiled any other information about these so-called workshops, who will attend them, where they'll take place, etc. But they'll absolutely be the subject of intense scrutiny if they do end up happening — for very good reason.