Today a great reckoning occurred when one of history’s greatest comedic minds was sentenced to three to ten years in prison after being found guilty of sexually assaulting and drugging Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.
Soonafter, Cosby’s lawyers filed an appeal. As part of the sentence, he will have to pay a $25,000 fine and the costs of the prosecution. Judge Steven O’Neill ruled Cosby will be classified as a “sexually violent predator” and he will have to maintain a lifetime registration as a sex offender while attending counseling. He will serve his sentence at SCI Phoenix, a correctional facility in Collegeville, Pennsylvania.
The juxtaposition of Cosby’s private and public persona are astounding–where there was indeed genius, intellect and comedic timing, there was something much darker and sobering happening behind the scenes.
After a 2014 joke by comedian Hannibal Buress addressed rape accusations involving Cosby went viral, the imagery we associated with Cosby, known as “America’s dad,” came tumbling down.
Cosby has been accused by 70 women of various sexual crimes, including assault, harassment and drugging. While many of the cases remained outside of the statute of limitations or were settled out of court, Constand’s case was just one of many. Tuesday’s events mark a healing moment for his victims who have suffered the most, even as the imagery of an 81-year-old man is led down the hall to his jail cell.
In totality, the chickens have come home to roost.
Cosby’s verdict has also reverberated through social media channels as supporters and critics weight the verdict–similar to the last trial of the century: O.J. Simpson. Cosby’s case culminated in race, consent and class, a timely trifecta for the issues in
But like with every conversation concerning the embattled comedian since his accusers came forward, there are those who feel Cosby should pay for his crimes and those that feel his sentencing is another attack on the Black man.
Wherever you fall on the spectrum, it as a monumental moment for America, Black America especially, to acknowledge the need to examine our “heroes.”