June 22, 2017
(Reuters) – Bill Cosby plans to conduct a series of free public seminars about sexual assault this summer, his spokesman said days after a Pennsylvania judge declared a mistrial in the entertainer’s sex assault trial.
The 79-year-old comedian was best known for his role as the father in the hit 1980s TV comedy “The Cosby Show” before dozens of women came forward over the past few years to accuse him of sex assault, with one of the allegations leading to this month’s criminal trial outside Philadelphia.
“I received hundreds of calls from civic organizations and churches requesting for Mr. Cosby to speak to young men and women about the judicial system,” Andrew Wyatt, Cosby’s spokesman, said in an email on Thursday.
Pennsylvania prosecutors plan to re-try Cosby on charges of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004, after the jury in the first trial failed to reach a verdict.
The case is the only criminal prosecution to emerge from dozens of similar allegations against Cosby, as the other cases are too old to be the subject of criminal prosecution.
Wyatt cited Cosby’s assertion that former district attorneys had vowed not to prosecute him during negotiations related to a civil lawsuit.
“These groups would like for Mr. Cosby to share that people in the judicial system can use their powers to annul deals for personal agenda and political ambitions,” Wyatt said.
In a Wednesday interview on Birmingham, Alabama’s WBRC-TV news, Wyatt offered more detail about the seminars.
“This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today,” Wyatt said. “And they need to know what they are facing when they are hanging out and partying when they are doing things they shouldn’t be doing. And it also affects married men.”
Cosby has long denied sexually assaulting anyone, saying that any sexual contact he had with Constand or anyone else was consensual.
(Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)