Cosby’s Conviction to Strengthen #MeToo

Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Debra Katz was quoted in the Associated Press article “#MeToo Leaders: Cosby’s Conviction Will Bolster the Movement.” Cosby, an American comic and TV icon for decades, was convicted Thursday of drugging and molesting Andrea Costand, a Temple University employee, in 2004.

It is a significant landmark in the #MeToo movement, which had yet to obtain widespread notoriety when Cosby’s first trial resulted in a hung jury 10 months ago. The societal view of sexual harassment and assault has radically changed since October, and women like Andrea Costand help empower others to keep the progress moving.

“It takes a lot of courage to do that,” said Ms. Katz. “But this will encourage other women who now see that having a powerful legal team and being a celebrity doesn’t buy you a pass.”

While many powerful men have recently fallen from grace as a result of their misconduct being exposed, Cosby is the first famous #MeToo perpetrator to go to trial and be convicted. While just one outcome, it is important – both symbolically and for Cosby’s victims. Before, rape victims “were reflexively disbelieved and smeared,” explains Ms. Katz. “Particularly when they raised allegations against celebrities and powerful men.”

This case proves that #MeToo is far from a flash in the pan and will continue to serve as a vehicle for justice.

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