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Sexual Assault

What Bill Cosby’s Overturned Conviction and Release from Prison Teaches Us - Shanlon Wu

What Bill Cosby’s Overturned Conviction and Release from Prison Teaches Us

By Sexual Assault
[Warning: This article discusses rape and sexual assault.] As we all know, Bill Cosby was found guilty in 2018 of three counts of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 10 years in prison. The accusations that surfaced around the case - and there were many of them - were horrific, particularly in reference to such a (previously) lovable American icon. Perhaps the most shocking news about this case, however, came out only last month: Cosby was released from prison on a technicality. Understandably, sexual assault survivors and other advocates have protested the finding, claiming it could lead to a dangerous backsliding of the long-overdue progress for the #MeToo movement. But what about the legality of the decision? Does it have any merit? And what does this mean for other survivors? Read on for a summary from former federal prosecutor, Shan Wu. WATCH SHAN’S ANALYSIS ON CNN HERE How did Bill...
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Shanlon Wu weighs in on Matt Gaetz investigation - Shanlon Wu

Hot Off the Presses: Shanlon Wu weighs in on Matt Gaetz investigation

By Sexual Assault
If you keep up with this blog, or follow Shan on any social media, you know that Shan is frequently consulted by national news outlets for his insight into pressing news stories as a former federal prosecutor and current defense attorney. In this week’s update of a series we’re now calling “Hot Off the Presses,” Shan weighs in on recent developments in the Justice Department’s investigation into Representative Matt Gaetz for his alleged involvement sex trafficking. Below is an overview of Shan’s insight, as well as links to his media appearances. The Matt Gaetz investigation Matt Gaetz is a Republican congressman from Florida, notorious for his ardent support of former President Trump and his prominence among the hard-right wing of the Republican Party. In March, the New York Times reported that the Department of Justice is currently investigating Gaetz’s involvement in an alleged sex trafficking scheme that has been developing...
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Bill Cosby sentence and the #MeToo movement

By Sexual Assault
Bill Cosby is in prison after yet another highly publicized, epic fall from grace amid the #MeToo movement. Once referred to as “America’s Dad,” the comedian and actor has moved from a lavish home to a 7x13 jail cell in Pennsylvania after a judge sentenced him to three to 10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand more than a decade ago. It took two juries to convict Bill Cosby. His first trial in June 2017 ended with a hung jury, but it took a second jury just two days to convict him in his April 28, 2018, retrial. How did the case of Bill Cosby go from a deadlocked jury to a sex crimes conviction? And will Cosby stay in prison, or will his lawyers win on appeal? Shan Wu, a former sex crimes prosecutor based in Washington, D.C., believes the reasoning behind Cosby’s conviction is...
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Is the Cosby Verdict a Game Changer in Sexual Assault Cases?

By Sexual Assault
What does Bill Cosby’s recent conviction mean for the current status of sexual assault cases in criminal cases, campus cases and the #MeToo movement? Cosby was first tried on the identical charges in June of 2017. That case resulted in the judge declaring a mistrial after the jury deadlocked, unable to reach a verdict for six days. But at the retrial in April of this year, the jury took only two days to return a guilty verdict. What changed? Everything. Let’s examine the legal changes and the changes in the world since the first trial. The Legal View Legally, the case was a completely different case the second time around.  In the first trial, the judge allowed only a single witness, besides the complainant, to testify as to an alleged similar assault that Cosby had supposedly done.  Although there were up to 19 potential women who could have offered such...
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