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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bill Cosby's past catches up

Canadian woman Andrea Bowman, nee Andrea Constand, filed a lawsuit against Bill Cosby for rape multiple times, when she was an aspiring 17 year old actress.  Cosby gained her trust by posing as her mentor and father figure.

The lawsuit grew to include 13 women, all of whom reported being drugged and raped by the star.  It was settled out of court by Cosby for an undisclosed amount.

Barbara Bowman

Ms Bowman alleged that when she visited Cosby's home for acting lessons, he gave her pills he said were "herbal medication" for stress. After taking the pills, she felt hazy but remembered Cosby touching her breasts and genitals.

She reported her allegations to police in Ontario Canada but was told the case against Cosby was weak and there was no point in going ahead.

Bowman talks about the incident that ended her relationship with Cosby.

“The final incident was in Atlantic City, where we had travelled for an industry event. I was staying in a separate bedroom of Cosby’s hotel suite, but he pinned me down in his own bed while I screamed for help. I’ll never forget the clinking of his belt buckle as he struggled to pull his pants off.  I furiously tried to wrestle from his grasp until he eventually gave up, angrily called me “a baby” and sent me home to Denver.”
“I first told my agent, a woman, who did nothing.  A girlfriend took me to a lawyer, but he accused me of making the story up.”

Fast forward thirty years.

 Hannibal Buress

“It was only when Hannibal Buress called Bill Cosby a rapist in a comedy act last month did the public outcry begin in earnest. The original video of Buress’s performance went viral and this week, Twitter turned against him, too, with a meme that emblazoned rape scenarios across pictures of his face.

“He can no longer be charged for his crimes against me because the statute of limitations is long past. That is also wrong. There should be no time limits on reporting these crimes, and one of my goals is to call for legislation to that end.

“Famous and wealthy perpetrators use their power to shame and silence their victims. It often takes years for young women to overcome those feelings and gain the confidence to come forward (by which point physical evidence is long gone). Our legal system shouldn’t silence them a second time."

Barbara Bowman is an artist, married with two children.  She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.