One of the most astonishing things about the allegations of sexual assault currently being aired against Bill Cosby is that so many went unreported for decades. If a crime is committed, the best time to gather evidence is while it is fresh. In Canada the cool and popular radio host Jian Ghomeshi is alleged to have been violently assaulting women for years. Yet no one spoke publicly about it until October, 2014. It’s safe to rape women if you’re a big enough superstar.
Or have a star lawyer.
The criminal lawyer Edward Greenspan was eulogized extensively in the National Post. Described as a “legal superstar,” six of Greenspan’s most notable cases were summarized in the print edition. Oddly, in five out of six, the superstar’s clients went to jail. The notable who got off was Gerald Regan, the former Premier of Nova Scotia. Portraying the accusations of sexual assault as a politically motivated witch-hunt, Greenspan succeeded by “…reducing some of the accusers to tears.”
We are not going to second guess the courts as to Regan’s culpability. While he was acquitted of rape and attempted rape, many charges were dropped without going to trial. The accusations involved over thirty women, over a span of forty years. How many of them were ‘reduced to tears,’ only to see their alleged tormentor walk free, declaring he’d been vindicated?
Perhaps it’s not so astonishing that so many women hesitate to speak up about sexual assault. It only invites a second assault, this time in the court room, where the defense attorney may do his or her best to reduce the accuser to tears, or worse. If he’s good at it, maybe he’ll be considered a legal superstar, no matter how many other cases he loses, no matter how much he makes it safe to rape women.
In an upcoming post we’ll discuss the weaponization of rape.
As always, your comments are welcome.