Bill Cosby was one of the most famous people in the USA. He began his career as a comedian and then he began doing TV series from the late 1960s through the 90s. He then became a public figure who often made comments on the lives of African Americans in the USA. He was considered somewhat conservative and believed that African Americans had to work harder to obtain greater opportunities in the USA.
Over 50 women have come forward in the past few years claiming that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them. Many of them claim that he would put a type of drug in their drink, they would unknowingly take in the drug with the drink and Cosby would have sex with them while they were unconscious.
Some people believe that Cosby has been sexually attacking women since the 1960s. Apparently these women were afraid to come forward and accuse him of sexual assault. They felt Cosby might sue them for this or that such an accusation would ruin their careers.
How was Cosby found guilty 14 years after he attacked a woman? Well, initially, the prosecutor (the lawyer for the state of Pennsylvania) would not allow the police to arrest Cosby. He claimed there was no proof that Cosby attacked the woman. In fact, the woman reported the attack one year after it happened.
So the woman sued Cosby. There are two types of courts in the USA: criminal and civil. If someone breaks the law and can be thrown in jail for this action, he/she goes to the criminal court system. If the issue is just about a matter of money, then the civil court system is used. Many times if you cannot get a person arrested, you can at least sue the person and you may receive money from this person as a punishment against the person. So the woman sued Cosby, claiming that he caused her a great amount of emotional stress and pain.
When someone sues someone else, both lawyers have an opportunity to ask questions of the people involved in the law suit - when you sue someone you file (submit) a law suit. This questioning occurs outside of the court room. Yet, the answers by the people are recorded by a person called a "court reporter". These people are licensed by the state and they type out the answers given to the lawyers' questions.
When Cosby had to answer questions for the victim's lawyer, he admitted that he used drugs to make women fall asleep. After Cosby made these statements, he offered $3 million to the victim to drop the law suit against him and to agree to have all the documents sealed (meaning that nobody could ever look at Cosby's answers). She took the money and agreed to drop the law suit. However, a news source in the USA demanded that the documents be unsealed in the name of justice, and a judge unsealed them. When the Pennsylvania prosecutor saw that Cosby admitted to drugging women, he arrested him. Cosby has now been found guilty of sexual assault and will probably die in prison.
An article on this topic:
conservative - old fashioned, not very open-minded, not willing to take risks or think new ideas
to sue someone - to take someone to court to try to get money from the person
a retrial - if a person is accused of a crime, he/she may choose to have a jury trial. This means that 12 people will decide whether the person is guilty or innocent. If all 12 people cannot agree, then a new jury might be selected and a new trial might happen. This is called a retrial. Cosby was tried once before and the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict (unanimous - everyone agrees).
a verdict - a decision as to whether a person is guilty or innocent. So you can have a guilty verdict or a not-guilty verdict or a verdict of a hung jury (the jury cannot unanimously decide)
3 counts - three different crimes
aggravated - means something was made worse or it was done more than once
assault - means to attack someone
indecent assault - sexual assault; indecent means dirty or of an unwanted sexual nature
TV icon - a famous person from television history; if something is iconic it is famous and easily recognizable. The Statue of Liberty is an icon of New York City. The Great Wall of China is an icon of China.
to be convicted - found guilty
haunted America - like a ghost that won't go away; if there are ghosts in your house, your house is haunted
serial sexual predator - serial: happens over and over: sexual predator: a predator is an animal that hunts for prey that can be eaten, so a sexual predator is a person who looks for people he can abuse
molested - sexually attacked
deliberations - when the jury thinks about whether a person is guilty or innocent
$1 million bail - if a person wants to stay out of jail until the end of his trial, he can hand over money to the court system. If he/she fails to show up, he/she loses all the money and the police will hunt for this person all over the country.
sentencing - when the judge determines the punishment
bail revoked...flight risk - the prosecutor wanted the bail to be given back and Cosby to be placed in jail because he thinks Cosby will try to run away or leave the country. The judge knows this is impossible, however, because Cosby is nearly blind and too famous to escape.
deadlocked - they couldn't decide on a unanimous decision
a mistrial - when a jury cannot reach a decision, it is called a mistrial
consensual - he said that he had sex with her, but that she agreed to it
asserting - strongly stating
an appeal - they will go to a higher court and a higher judge and try to get the verdict overturned
resilience - being able to tolerate a lot of stress and trouble; to be resilient
advocates - spokespeople, people who speak for others
inspiring - making others believe that they can do something difficult
exultant - extremely happy
vindicated - proven to have been right
validated - proven to have been speaking truthfully
the legacy of this case - how this case will influence other cases in the future
to feel empowered - to feel as if you can do things, that you have power and strength instead of feeling like a helpless victim
perpetrators - criminals
to mount protests - to organize and hold protests
a topless protest - women took off their shirts and bras to protest
sequestered - if a court case is really big, the judge may require that the jurors be kept in a hotel without televisions, radios or the internet. They are completely cut off from the world. This is why the judge thanked the jury so deeply - they were cut off from the world during the trial and could not even communicate with family members.
the metoo movement - the internet movement to expose powerful men who have been secretly
sexually attacking women
to creep into the courtroom - to get in without anyone noticing, to secretly get in and influence the jurors
to be politically correct - to say and do the right thing based on what you think a majority of others want you to do
biased - prejudiced against him, holding negative feelings against him because of the metoo movement and news reports about him before the jury was sequestered
to testify - to make statements in the trial
the judge put his thumb on the scale - if you are weighing something and put your thumb on the scale, you will not get an accurate weight, the weight will be higher. Some people who sell candy or other foods will put their thumbs on the scale to get more money. By saying the judge put his thumb on the scale, this person is saying the judge was trying to influence the case so that the jury would find Cosby guilty.
where there's smoke, there's fire - if you see smoke, it had to come from a fire, so if a lot of people (over 50 women) are claiming that Cosby attacked them, that's like a lot of smoke pointing to a fire - Cosby attacked them.
an alleged crime - a supposed crime, a crime that was claimed but not proved
an accuser - someone who claims someone else did something wrong
acclaimed - famous
to garner - to get
daunting - difficult
burden-of-proof - this means that a person can be found guilty ONLY if the prosecutor REALLY, TRULY proves guilt. No smoke, fire!
a felony case - a felony is a major crime, a misdemeanor is a minor crime
a statute of limitations - a law which indicates how much time can go by before a person is arrested. There is no statute of limitations for murder in the USA, so a murderer can be arrested many years after a murder
to expire - to end
Cosby was deposed - he was asked questions by the victims lawyer and his answers were recorded; the process is called a deposition
the decisive point - the most important point
quiescent - quiet
he charged Cosby - he had Cosby arrested and set for trial
to frame a celebrity - to falsely accuse a celebrity to make money
sniping at - shooting at, verbally attacking
a caustic attack - a burning, harsh attack
a defense lawyer - a lawyer that tries to keep a person out of jail; the opposite of a prosecutor
a con artist - someone who lies or deceives to make money illegally
bashed - hit, attacked
sordid - dirty
to belie something - to prove something to be untrue
the dawning - the beginning
nobody lives in a vacuum - we are all affected by things around us
diligent - serious, conscientious, wanting to do the best job possible
credibility - believability
to be sympathetic to someone - to feel sorry for someone