A juror in the Bill Cosby sexual assault mistrial told reporters that he did not believe accuser Andrea Constand because she went to the famous entertainer's home bearing gifts and her midriff.
Basically, he didn't believe her because her story didn't fit his narrow-minded idea as to what rape is.
"She was well-coached,” he said of Constand’s two days of testimony. “Let’s face it: She went up to his house with a bare midriff and incense and bath salts. What the heck?”
He went on to say that Constand should have only gone to Cosby's home if she was "dressed properly and left the incense in the store," a textbook response to those who have come forward about being sexually assaulted. It's the "she dressed like she was asking for it" sentiment that's so common it shows up on T-shirts and signs at every demonstration against rape culture.
In contrast, the juror maintained a more favorable view of Cosby.
"He was extremely honest," he said. "He admitted to things."
He also expressed concern for Cosby's health, describing him as "weathered" and that he wondered if the aging comedian was going to make it through the trial.
The juror did not reveal his vote, but we can wager a guess.
While hard to stomach, this view is not a surprising one to those who have any experience with sexual assault themselves or who advocate on behalf of survivors of rape. Rape culture is synonymous with victim-blaming culture, and often before people evaluate the accused rapist, they have already discredited the story of the accuser. Impartiality is something that victims of sexual assault do not expect to be given, but nevertheless often still hope for.
Rolling Stone reported that only two of the 12 jurors held back a guilty verdict for Cosby on two of the three counts filed against him.
While everyone is entitled to justice, Cosby certainly included, what goes on behind the closed jury room doors becomes alarming when we consider that some may have severely problematic points of view making them biased against the potential victim.
The American legal system is working how it is supposed to when everyone in the courtroom gets a fair shake, but after this man's comments we have to wonder if Constand did.