Less than a week after a mistrial was declared in Bill Cosby’s criminal case for the 2004 rape of Andrea Constand, the actor is getting ready to go on the road to teach people how to avoid being charged with sex crimes.
“We have received hundreds of calls from civic organizations and churches who want to hear Mr. Cosby speak at town halls about the issue of criminal justice, how the deal he was given was taken away and the Willie Horton style ad that got the current D.A. in office and after Mr. Cosby,” Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt told Deadline Thursday, confirming remarks he and fellow spokesperson Ebonee Benson made on Alabama local TV earlier Thursday (see video below). “These organizations fear for young men and women today, this is bigger than Bill Cosby,” Wyatt added.
“We have just started talks this week but Birmingham is going to be one of the cities, perhaps Chicago and Detroit, lots of places,” Wyatt said of the tour, which could come as the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office continues to move forward with a planned new trial by the end of the year. Wyatt had no comment on questions about the appropriateness or optics of such a tour by Cosby, who would have register as a sex offender among his punishments if found guilty in a new trial.
The PR rep was reprimanded by the judge in the Norristown, PA courtroom for his remarks to the media during the trial that ended on June 17 after more than 50 hours of deliberations by the ultimately deadlocked jurors. The soon to be 80-year-old Cosby faces more than 10 years in jail if ever convicted of three felony charges of second-degree aggravated indecent assault that the Montgomery County D.A. Kevin Steele currently still is charging the actor with.
Cosby himself took to social media in what sure felt like the opening salvo in a victory lap:
Thank You #GoodDayAlabama #WBRC #FOX6 and the most watched news anchor #JaniceRogers @JANICEROGERS6
… for having my publicists #AndrewWyatt and #EboneeBenson on your show. #MyFoxALhttps://t.co/KbIQsKzzSa
On Thursday, Steele’s office had no response about the announcement of the planned tour, but another lawyer representing several other women among the more than 60 who have said that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them sure did.
“Mr. Cosby’s so called workshops appear to be a transparent and slick effort to attempt to influence the jury pool from which jurors will be selected for his second criminal trial,” said Gloria Allred on Thursday. “Mr. Cosby should understand, however, that this is not about optics,” the attorney, who was in Judge Steven O’Neill’s courtroom every day of the June 5 starting trial.
“It is about evidence and according to news reports at least 10 jurors out of 12 voted to convict him on one felony count,” Allred added, noting the anonymous interview that ANB News had with a former juror on Wednesday after Judge O’Neill made the names of the previously sequestered jury of seven men and five women and the six alternates public.
“Under the circumstances Mr. Cosby should not be conducting sex assault workshops, but if he does do them then the best advice he can give to those attending is that if you do not drug and sexually assault women, then you need not worry about being charged with a crime.”
While admitting in a 2005 deposition he gave former Temple University employee Constand several blue Benadryl pills that night at his Philadelphia area mansion in January 2004, Cosby has always said the incident was consensual.
Elected late last year partially on a campaign promise to prosecute Cosby, Steele arraigned the actor in December 2015 just before the Keystone State’s statute of limitations for sex crimes expired. This is the only criminal case again the actor despite more than 60 women accusing him of drugging and sexually assaulting them over the decades.
Here is Wyatt and Benson’s appearance on Good Morning Alabama today: