Carol Tracy Discusses Rape Law & the Bill Cosby Case

Yesterday, Montgomery County DA-elect Kevin Steele announced criminal charges against Bill Cosby stemming from an allegation that Cosby drugged and subsequently sexually assaulted a woman at his Pennsylvania home in 2004.

It is the first criminal charge of sexual assault filed against Mr. Cosby, though many, many women have made similar allegations. In the majority of those cases, the statute of limitations—the designated period of time after an alleged incident that criminal charges can be filed—have expired. In the case of Andrea Constand, a former employee of Temple University, the statute of limitation was set to expire next month. Officials announced the criminal investigation that resulted in the charges against Cosby was re-opened this past summer in light of what they deemed new, relevant information.

As an expert in improving law enforcement response to sexual assault, our Executive Director Carol Tracy addressed the case at Talking Points Memo, discussed our legal advocacy work on NBC10, and spoke about bias against rape survivors that “pollutes” the criminal justice system on ABC6.

“We have both police and prosecutors, judges and jurors, that are frankly polluted with bias and the cultural bias is that rape victims are liars,” said Tracy. “I think we are now seeing a significant paradigm shift.”

Earlier this month, Tracy addressed these issues at an event where U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a first-ever guidance issued by the Department of Justice on the subject of improving institutional response to sexual assault and domestic violence.

To request an interview with a Women’s Law Project attorney, contact Tara Murtha at tmurtha@womenslawproject.org. The WLP is the only public interest law center devoted to women’s rights in Pennsylvania.

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About womenslawproject

The Women's Law Project creates a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of all women throughout their lives. To this end, we engage in high-impact litigation, advocacy, and education.
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