The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Bill Cosby, no longer Americas favorite father

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Numerous allegations of sexual assault are reemerging regarding the beloved television star Bill Cosby.

Cosby, whose alleged predatory acts date back several decades, was recently ousted by comedian Hannibal Buress during a comedy act, referring to the “The Cosby Show” star as a “serial rapist.”

During a recent interview with NPR’s Scott Simon on the topic of Cosby’s loaning of art pieces to the Museum of African Art, Simon asked about the recent sexual assault charges. Cosby respond with a deafening silence.

“You’re shaking your head no. I’m in the news business. I have to ask the question,” Simon said. “Do you have any response to those charges?”

No verbal reply could be ushered out of Cosby, who would then go on to cancel several interviews, including an appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

According to the Washington Post, over a dozen women have accused Cosby of harassment, with allegations dating back as far back as 2004 when Andrea Constand filled a lawsuit against Cosby for sexual assault.

So why is this court case just now making recent headlines?

When Constand called for others to testify against Cosby during her suit she was met with a positive response by a woman named Barbara Bowman. Constand offered Bowman the opportunity to testify anonymously against Cosby, but Bowman refused to hide her personal story from the public any longer. Unfortunately for Bowman, her voice was quickly stifled after Cosby rushed to settle the suit for an undisclosed amount of money.

Unfortunately, it seems that the right amount of money can make the most egregious actions fade away, but they could never be erased from Bowman’s memory.

Recently, Bowman emerged in the public spotlight with her article published in the Washington Post, featuring a first hand account of her sexual assault by Cosby as a teenager.

Bowman has received the well-deserved attention the issue needed for so many years. Finally, it would be her chance to share her story with the world.

In her article Bowman recounted how she shared her story with Daily Mail Reporter Lycia Naff regarding her early relationship with Cosby.

“Cosby won my trust as a 17-year-old aspiring actress in 1985, brainwashed me into viewing him as a father figure, and then assaulted me multiple times… I’m certain now that he drugged and raped me. But as a teenager, I tried to convince myself I had imagined it,” Bowman said.

Bowman has carried a heavy burden of disillusionment since her teenage years. She recounted the failed attempts at sharing the incident with her agents, friends and family, which resulted in complete silence on the issue for many years, until recently.

“A girlfriend took me to a lawyer, but he accused me of making the story up. Their dismissive responses crushed any hope I had of getting help; I was convinced no one would listen to me. That feeling of futility is what ultimately kept me from going to the police,” said Bowman.

Now in 2014, the public forum of the Internet has finally given Bowman a voice. Victims of Cosby’s sexual deviance can share their stories with one another, in an age where information is exponentially more accessible.

No longer can one can shrug off these allegations. There are now numerous, detailed accounts of sexual assault at the hands of Cosby. No longer can celebrities use their wallet to weasel out of trouble.