Victim advocates react to Bill Cosby’s conviction overturned by Pa. Supreme Court

As Bill Cosby arrived at his Elkins Park home Wednesday, a free man, stunned victims’ rights advocates are worried about how the bombshell decision by the commonwealth’s highest court will affect victims of sexual assault.

"We definitely know that today’s decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court does not negate the bravery of the survivors who came forward in the Cosby case," stated Acting Co-Executive Director WOAR Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence Rachel Copen.

"Processing this news can be very difficult, whether you are a survivor in that case, or just a survivor in general," LaQuisha Anthony, with WOAR Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence commented.

Copen and Anthony are with WOAR Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence. LaQuisha is also a survivor.

"I am disappointed," LaQuisha stated. "I think, ultimately as a survivor and what survivors need to recognize is that their truth matters."

The organization says it’s a challenging and difficult decision for victims to tell their stories in the first place.

"We do worry this will prevent people from coming forward, but we want people, we want survivors to know we are here to support them," Copen explained.

Attorney Gloria Allred represented 33 of Bill Cosby’s accusers. She says this was an important fight for justice, even though the court overturned Cosby’s conviction.

"It was on technical grounds and did not vindicate Bill Cosby’s conduct. It should not be interpreted as a statement or a finding that he did not engage in the acts of which he has been accused," Allred explained.

"We stand with survivors and we stand with survivors today," LaQuisha added.

WOAR Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence has a 24-hour hotline to help victims. That number is 215-985-3333. They say they are there every step of the way, even accompanying victims to court, if their case goes to trial.



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