Soraya Mcdonald, Angela Rose, Rachel Martin discussed on Morning Edition

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C three A. I. This is Enterprise AI. And by the listeners and members of KQED Public Radio. I'm Dave Freeman at 5 35. This is morning edition from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin and I'm Noel King. Bill Cosby walked out of prison yesterday after almost three years inside the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated his conviction on charges of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman, Andrea Constand at his home years earlier. NPR's Elizabeth Blair has been following this story. Good morning, Elizabeth. Good morning, Noel. What are we hearing from the other women who say copy assaulted them. They are stunned and disappointed to a lot of them. It's hard to understand how, after all of these women have come forward after a jury found Cosby guilty that he could still be released on a legal technicality. Are also concerned about what the news will do to victims of sexual assault. I spoke with Angela Rose, who is the head of a nonprofit called Pave, which stands for promoting awareness victim empowerment. Here's what she said. I fear that this is going to really hinder other survivors from coming forward. And so you know this case, The Bill Cosby case was truly one of the first cases in the Hashtag Metoo movement, and it really paved the way for other survivors of high profile influential perpetrators to speak out, so I don't want that to be lost. Rose was in the courtroom supporting the alleged victims who testified in the Andrea Constand trial, She says the news of Cosby's releases like a knife in the heart for them At the same time, there were some people who publicly expressed support for him. Interestingly, his co star on The Cosby Show, Felicia Rashad for many years, said very little about all of this. Yes, Phylicia Rashad, who played Cosby's wife on TV for many years, was at first, very enthusiastic. She tweeted. Finally, a terrible wrong is being righted. A miscarriage of justice is corrected. She later back pedaled and sent another tweet, saying she supported survivors of sexual assault coming forward and that her earlier post was quote in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth. And I imagine that was because I mean, I saw this happened yesterday. People online were outraged. Very much. So Rashad was recently appointed dean of Howard University's Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts, and a number of Howard alumni feel the comment was really inappropriate. Soraya McDonald is a Howard graduate and culture critic for ESPN's The undefeated, She says Rashad's comments could have a chilling effect on students. You know, I try to imagine if you're a person who has been sexually harassed or is being sexually assaulted. You know by a fellow student who is also in the college of Fine Arts, and you think Well, should I go to Dean Rich odd about this? I can't imagine thinking that you know that is someone who is who is going to support you. I wonder, you know, as we heard earlier, this was one of the first high profile cases of the me too. Movement. Is this a setback for that movement? Can we say Some activists are saying yes, this is a setback and we can see it's lost some steam with the general public, but the champions of the movement are still at it. Attorney Gloria Allred, who has represented some of Cosby's accusers, held a press conference yesterday. She made it very clear that she is moving forward with a civil case against Bill Cosby in Los Angeles County. He's representing a woman who claims Cosby sexually assaulted her when she was 15 years old. Cosby has denied causing any harm to her. NPR's Elizabeth Blair. Thank you, Elizabeth. Thank you. All right. So why did the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacate Cosby's conviction? It is very complicated. In fact, with me now is Nikki Wise and see Egan. She's an investigative reporter who covered the case. She also wrote the book chasing Cosby and hosts a podcast. Of the same name. Good morning, Nikki. Good morning. You've been following the accusations against Cosby since very early on. Did you see this coming? Well, I haven't actually following it since the first day, the story broke in 2000 and five. I really had a sense that the the state Supreme Court was not going to rule in the prosecution's favor in December, when I watched the oral arguments Because the justices questioning of the prosecution was very hostile. In fact, at one point, the chief justice just walked away from his screen and his screen went blank for 10 minutes. It was on YouTube because of Covid. It was just extraordinary watch. I'd never seen such unprofessional behavior in my life, so I expected they were going to rule in his favor, but not on this issue. I thought it would be the issue of the other accusers who were allowed to testify. This was a non issue in my view. I mean, there is no proof that there was an immunity agreement. Zero proof. Ah ha! Let's talk about your mentioning an issue and we haven't actually defined what that is. What was it issued The Supreme Court vacates the conviction and says We are doing it because of X. What is X? They believe that caused these due process rights were violated, because, while Bruce Castor, the former D a claims the press release he put out announcing cause he wasn't going to charge. Cosby in 2000 and five was also an immunity agreement. And because of that Cosby cooperated more fully during the deposition in Andrius case then he would have and it made those incriminating comments, which were in turn used in the trials against him. I want to play a clip from Victoria Valentino. She's one of the women who has accused Bill Cosby and she talked to our colleagues on all things considered yesterday. Let's listen when he was sentenced when he was found guilty..

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