Ethics & Religion
October 18, 2017
Aren't Famous Sexual Offenders Prosecuted?
By Mike McManus
A growing number of prominent media moguls have been accused of
sexual assault - Donald Trump, Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Cosby
and most recently, Harvey Weinstein.
Why have none been successfully prosecuted?
Bill Cosby is the only one who faced charges in court. His trial ended
with a hung jury, and Cosby's claim of "victory." He was charged with
three counts of indecent assault in an incident involving former Temple
University basketball staffer Andrea Constand at his home in suburban
Philadelphia in 2004.
He claimed the encounter was consensual. She testified that Cosby
drugged her and robbed her of the ability to consent. Cosby reportedly
touched her and digitally penetrated her.
Fifty women have stated that they experienced a similar prelude of drugs
followed by sexual misconduct by Cosby, including rape. And some of them
offered to testify, but the judge would not allow the prosecutor to do
so, according to top attorney Gloria Allred.
Why not? The case would have been far more convincing than with only one
True, many of those who have made public charges against him, involved
incidents that were decades old. The Pennsylvania statute of limitations
requires victims to make charges within 12 years. However, there were
other victims within the last dozen years.
The judge made a major mistake in not allowing such victims to testify.
The result was a hung jury. The prosecution has promised a retrial.
Hopefully, it has learned its lesson, and will have several victims
testify against Cosby, so that he is convicted of a crime.
He should spend his last days in prison.
Why were there no trials involving Roger Ailes, President of Fox and of
Bill O'Reilly, his biggest star? Many of the women sued them, instead.
Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes for sexual harassment and Fox settled the
case for $20 million. It paid another $25 million to other women. And
five women collected a total of $13 million for sexual misconduct by
O'Reilly. After Carlson filed her suit, more than 20 women stepped
forward accusing Ailes of sexual crimes over decades.
Fox News severed ties with Ailes months before he died, and with
O'Reilly. However, Fox paid O'Reilly a severance package of $25 million,
and $40 million to Ailes to exit.
However, why don't prosecutors find women who will testify against
O'Reilly? He should serve prison time instead of leading a life of
Rape is a far more common crime than I realized. One in five women have
been raped in the United States according to the National Sexual
Violence Center. In eight of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew her
assailant. And 81% of the rape victims report significant short term or
long term impacts, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
What about Harvey Weinstein? His firms produced many films, earning 300
Oscar nominations and Academy Awards for such films as "Shakespeare in
Love." Other noted films were "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" and "Pulp
Fiction." But he has been accused of sexual misconduct by such stars as
Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Ronan Farrow (son of Mia Farrow) wrote an extensive article for The New
Yorker in which 13 women said they were harassed or assaulted. Asia
Argento, an Italian film actress and director said he forcibly performed
oral sex on her, because she feared he would ruin her career, as he did
A former aspiring actress, Lucia Evans, said she was raped by him. She
gave up her dream of being in movies. Four women cited encounters in
which Weinstein exposed himself or masturbated in front of them.
Furthermore, 16 former and current executives at his companies said they
witnessed or had knowledge of unwanted sexual advances. Some female
employees were enlisted to attend meetings in a subterfuge to make
victims feel safe. Then they left for Weinstein to close in. One
executive who worked for him many years lamented, "This was ongoing
predatory behavior toward women - whether they consented or not."
Farrow writes, "Virtually all of the people I spoke with told me that
they were frightened of retaliation." It was a valid fear. Four
actresses, including Rosanna Arquette, suspected that after they
rejected his advances or complained about them to company
representatives - Weinstein had them removed from projects.
The Los Angeles City Attorney "will prosecute" Weinstein if victims will
Hopefully Academy Award winners such as Gwyneth Paltrow, who need not
fear retaliation, will do so.
He deserves prison.
Copyright (c) 2017 Michael J. McManus,
President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. For previous
columns go to
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