Shut Up About Sex Accusations? No Way!

by Diane Dimond on January 12, 2015

Don't Shut Up About Sexual Abuse

Do Not Shut Up About Sexual Abuse

      ~ Special breed of predator uses influence and power to escape justice ~ 

One reader wrote to tell me to, “Shut up! (and) butt out” of the sex scandal involving comedian Bill Cosby.

Jason S. wrote to say I was “reprehensible” for trying, “someone in the court of public opinion,” even though nearly 30 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of various degrees of sexual assault. The last three surfaced earlier this week as I read my hate mail.

Madge DeFee and S. Freeman said I was just trying to embarrass Mrs. Cosby by writing an open letter to her last week. In it I suggested that when she declared her husband was the victim she was not facing the truth about Bill’s past bad extra-marital behavior.

Roy Palmer declared on my Facebook page that, “All these claims have to be proved in court…I say prove him guilty 1st, not in the media.”

Don’t be naive, Roy. You can’t have a trial if the defendant pays his way out of trouble.

Out-of-Court Settlements Mean No Trial

Out-of-Court Settlements Mean No Trial

And that’s precisely what Cosby did after a 2005 civil suit in which 14 women were set to testify about his sexual offenses.

Out-of-court settlements always come with a promise of silence. Besides, the statue of limitations has run out on all but one of the women’s claims.

Reader Leslie Sewall wondered, “Where was the press all this time? It’s pretty shocking that none of this was taken seriously for so many years.” I agree.

Look, as a nation we cannot fail to continue the open dialogue about sex crimes and the ways in which sexual predators behave. There are way too many victims and the aftereffects of this crime are often crippling, especially for young victims.

I will not shut up about it. Ever.

“It is especially heinous when you consider the young women were his children’s age and gave him their full trust,” reader Pankaja Cauligi wrote.

Many Never Get Caught

Many Never Get Caught

Someone with the pen name Ar7wen sent this message: “It’s horrifying how much damage ONE sexual predator can do.”

Do some people file false sex assault claims? Yes. Case in point: High school football star Brian Banks whose life was ruined after Wanetta Gibson cried rape.

Banks spent five years in prison and lost football scholarships. She won $1.5 million from their California school district. Gibson ultimately admitted her lie and was recently ordered to pay $2.6 million in damages to Banks. He now has a coveted job with the National Football League.

I submit that Bill Cosby is no Brian Banks. And the women who have tearfully said they were manipulated, drugged and attacked by this famous man are nothing like Wanetta Gibson.

Banks Finally Walked Free

Banks Finally Walked Free

We must keep talking about sexual abuse especially when it is perpetrated by those with influence and power. These are a special breed of predator who think nothing of using and discarding other human beings – girls, boys, women of varying ages. They hire attorneys, private detectives and publicists to cover up what they’ve done and scare victims into silence. They are confident criminals who believe they can forever quench their sick appetites because no one makes them stop.

Their victims are left diminished. Ashamed. Petrified of what will happen if they tell.

Bill Cosby has not been charged with any crime. His lawyers call it all “a lie.”  But if even one of the almost 30 women who have tearfully come forward to relate their Cosby story is to be believed he should have been. Criminal charges seem impossible now but there may still be a legal way to get at the truth.

One woman, who says she was just 15 when Cosby raped her at the Playboy Mansion, has a civil suit pending. The California statute of limitations leaves wiggle room for those who were minors when an alleged sex crime took place. She claims her “mental anguish” and “significant problems throughout her life” are linked to the 1974 incident.

Cosby on Stage in Canada - January 2015

Cosby on Stage in Canada – January 2015

Three other women who broke their silence about unwanted relations with the comedian have banded together to file a defamation suit after they were branded as liars by Cosby’s lawyer and publicist.

Either suit could unravel the truth.

And if Mr. Cosby is not guilty you’d think he’d welcome a day in court. But, I’m betting out-of-court settlements are being crafted right now. What does that tell you?

Nope. I won’t shut up. I won’t stop taking about this kind of crime and that includes exposing family members who stay silent, even issue public words of support, that only give the predator more power.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane Dimond January 12, 2015 at 8:35 am

ABQ Journal Reader Jorge Sotelo writes:

“Diane,

You are the voice of reason, I commend you for your articles in the Journal. You call it what it is. Like the fable of the king’s new clothes.
Good job, I enjoy your writing. Do not be discouraged by Jason S. and the others. Where there is smoke there’s fire. I for one believe
he is guilty. Keep up the good work.”

Jorge Sotelo

Reply

Diane Dimond January 12, 2015 at 8:37 am

Noozhawk Reader Advocate writes:

“This is the problem I have with rape allegations. Innocent men are found guilty, unless, the women admit it is a lie.”

Reply

Diane Dimond January 12, 2015 at 8:41 am

Noozhawk Reader AN50 writes:

“Diane, no one is asking you to shut up about violence against women. Just stop the public execution based on “allegations”. This actually discredits the dialog on violence against women by allowing liars and cheats an opportunity to use allegations to ruin someone they don’t like. By aiding and abetting that behavior you diminish rule of law, our criminal judicial system and the credibility of victims. It doesn’t matter how many women point their finger at Cosby, what matters is proving just one allegation true, then you can put the man away for a long time.”

Reply

Diane Dimond January 12, 2015 at 8:42 am

DD answers:

And what happens, AN50, if there never comes a forum in which “just one allegation (is proven) true?” What if the statute of limitations is long gone before any victim finds enough strength and support to speak out about what happened. Under your plan what happens then? No one is even allowed to speak about it?
Unacceptable to me.

Reply

Diane Dimond January 12, 2015 at 8:50 am

Facebook Friend Kiley Vaught writes:

“In shock here that this literally went on for decades.”

Reply

Diane Dimond January 12, 2015 at 8:50 am

Facebook Friend Denise Niemann writes:

“Alicia Rashad stating its about preserving his legacy is disturbing given this man has raped several women. She seems to say we should overlook simply because of his TV show. //I cant imagine anyone thinking all these women made up similar stories. I remember seeing him at a bar in Chicago in the 80s and surprised that he was not like the persona protrayed on TV. He was actively trying to pick up young women.”

Reply

Diane Dimond January 12, 2015 at 9:14 am

ABQ Journal Reader & Facebook Friend Kyla Thompson writes:

“I was very happy to hear Tina Fey and Amy Pohler barb Cosby last night at the Golden Globes with that huge audience – it needs to be kept alive. And he needs to GO AWAY. His ego won’t let him believe that he is done – stick the fork in.”

Reply

Sylvia L. Kurtz January 12, 2015 at 11:58 am

Diane, thank you for your COURAGE in stepping up to write publicly about this. You may recall the perfect formula that allows predators, especially those with celebrity status, public admiration, and power, to operate for so long: Humiliation + Shame + Fear = Silence. We need to continue to break that silence. Keep writing! ~ Sylvia

Reply

Diane Dimond January 13, 2015 at 5:09 pm

Facebook Friend Sandi Chaykin Teller writes:

“Rashad looked like a complete ass in her interview and her body language said I know he did it!!!! No we should never forget and he should never work again!”

Reply

Diane Dimond January 13, 2015 at 5:09 pm

Facebook Friend Steve Liddick writes:

“The preponderance of evidence is just too intense to discount the accusations. As far as I’m concerned, Cosby should be put out of business.”

Reply

Diane Dimond January 13, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Facebook Friend Debi Johnson writes:

“Problem is no one who has come fwd was underage. No case like Sandusky unless a person who comes fwd was underage.”

Reply

Diane Dimond January 13, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Actually, Debi, that’s not true. If I’m remembering correctly some of the women claim they were underage when Cosby came into their lives. In fact, as I wrote in the column, one is now suing under California law – saying she was 15 years old when Cosby had sex with her. ~ DD

Reply

Diane Dimond January 14, 2015 at 10:48 pm

Noozhawk Reader awakeallready writes:

“There should not be ANY statute of limitations for rape! That is a giant loophole in our criminal justice system.”

Reply

Diane Dimond January 18, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Reader Melanie McWhorter writes:

“Hi Diane,

I want to send you a letter of thanks. I read your op-ed piece “Dialogue about abuse must go on”. I have never been attacked by in the way that Bill Cosby is accused, but I feel the vulnerability that many women feel in my daily life. I know some women and I am sure that I encounter women and men every day who have been violated by others. I appreciate you taking the time to write this piece.

Melanie”

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