A high-profile women’s rights attorney says Bill Cosby’s defense team will do something all too common in rape cases: attack the victims.
Gloria Allred represents more than 30 women who have accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them. She spoke to Yahoo Guest Editor Stephanie Sy Wednesday for her first interview since a judge ordered the once beloved comedian to stand trial.
Having been in a Pennsylvania courtroom during the proceedings the day before, Allred said she suspects what Cosby’s defense team’s plan will be during the upcoming trial.
“They will attack the victim. That’s what defense attorneys do,” she said. “They started that process yesterday. Are they trying to contaminate the potential jury pool? Very possibly they are.”
More than 50 women have accused Cosby, now 78, of sexually assaulting them, but many of the alleged incidents occurred decades ago and exceed the statute of limitations.
Allred said that Andrea Constand, the former Temple University employee whose allegation of sexual abuse in 2005 led to Pennsylvania’s criminal charges against Cosby, will have to be brave because she will undergo a brutal cross-examination by the defense as they attempt to defame and discredit her.
“I’ve been practicing law for 40 years. I represent many victims even now in rape cases and sexual assault cases. Defense attorneys will ordinarily try to put the victim on trial instead of their own client, the defendant, on trial,” she said.
But, she said, the “evidence is going to speak for itself.”
Allred said Pennsylvania’s prior bad acts doctrine could allow the prosecution to call to the stand as witnesses other women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct. This could be “devastating” to Cosby’s case, she said.
“That, I think, is what could make a difference in this case, so it’s not just going to be he said versus she said. It could be she-she-she-she said versus he said,”Allred said.