Less than a week after Bill Cosby's high-profile trial on charges of aggravated indecent assault ended in a mistrial, it has emerged he plans to hold a series of town halls to educate young athletes and married men on how to avoid assault accusations.
According to his publicist, Andrew Wyatt and Ebonee Benson, the town halls could start as early as next month as Cosby “wants to get back to work.”
“Mr. Cosby wants to get back to work. We’re now planning town halls and we’re going to be coming to this city sometime in July … to talk to young people because this is bigger than Bill Cosby,” Wyatt said on “Good Day Alabama” in Birmingham.
He further added, “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 they shouldn't be doing.”
Although there is no official schedule of the town halls, his team is planning on at least five city tours that would include stops in Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia.
“Laws are changing, laws are changing. The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended. That's why people need to be educated — you know, a brush across the shoulder, at this point, can be considered sexual assault and it's a good thing to be educated about the law,” said Benson.
The announcement drew criticism from several quarters, including anti-sexual violence organizations.
“It would be more useful if Mr. Cosby would spend time talking with people about how not to commit sexual assault in the first place,” RAINN spokeswoman Jodi Omear said.
Kristen Houser of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center described Cosby as “a person who has 60 allegations of sexual assault against” him. She also said that there are a number of organizations out there that are far better choices to education people about sexual assault than Cosby.
The stand-up comedian, 79, has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct by more than 50 women, alleging that he assaulted them in “eerily similar ways.” They claim that he drugged and, in numerous cases, sexually assaulted them in incidents dating back decades.
However, of all his alleged victims, only Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, was able to pursue her case regarding an incident that took place in 2004 at his Philadelphia-area mansion.
Unfortunately, despite the fact multiple women came forward with testimonies of a painful experience, Cosby’s trial on three counts of aggravated indecent assault ended in a mistrial, as after more than 50 hours of deliberation, the jury said they were “hopelessly deadlocked” on the charges.
However, prosecutors have not given up and they said they will retry Cosby. Judge Steven O'Neill announced he would try to schedule a new trial within 120 days.
Cosby is currently free on bail while he awaits a retrial of the criminal case.
What is this Bill Cosby Town hall crap? What a disgusting man.— Riley (@irishriley68) June 23, 2017
I'm sorry but @BillCosby needs to be locked up immediately!!Why the hell would you be holding a town hall meeting? You just got lucky!smh— heybru (@bruweez) June 23, 2017
This is unbelievable… https://t.co/F4eqUGss35— Michael Manley™ (@Michaeldmanley) June 22, 2017