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Editorial

The Message of the Release of Bill Cosby

Actor Bill Cosby, 83, has been released after serving three of his 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a Greek-American woman, Andrea Constand, among others.

His release is not based on new evidence but purely on a legal technicality that forced his release.

But the law is the law.

At least 60 women have accused former TV superstar Cosby of rape or sexual harassment.

They said he drugged and then raped them.

“He served three years of an unjust sentence and he did it with dignity and principle and he was a mentor to other inmates,” said his lawyer.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General, however, said "through a technicality,” which has nothing to do with the crime, “unfortunately, Mr. Cosby was ultimately released.”

After praising Constand, who had the courage to accuse Cosby publicly, he acknowledged that "it is very, very hard for a survivor to speak up” and expressed the hope that the decision will not be an obstacle to the denunciation of sexual assaults by other women.

And that is the essence of the matter.

It takes a lot of courage for a woman to publicly reveal such an issue. The #MeToo movement is important because it offers women the ‘reassurance of numbers,’ showing them that they are not alone, that it has happened to others, and that they have the support of society.

Unfortunately, cases like Cosby's that end up with the criminals being released early act as a deterrent.

They give the impression, at least, that it is in vain for a woman to allow her experience to be dragged into the public – because even when her rapist is convicted, in the end, he is released on technical grounds.

But let that not stop them. Justice, as it is often said, works slowly but in the end, it works.

It will take sacrifices by many women, over a long period of time, to send the message to society that rape is an unacceptable act. That rape is a crime punishable by many years in prison.

But public accusations against rapists frees women from some of the enormous burden they carry.

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