Following a mistrial in the sexual-assault case against Bill Cosby, the comedian apparently will hold a series of town-hall meetings aimed at teaching attendees how to avoid being accused of sexual assault.
Cosby, 79, still faces charges of aggravated indecent assault. He contends his 2004 encounter with Andrea Constand was consensual; Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele says he plans to retry the case.
Speaking to Birmingham, Ala.’s WBRC-FOX6 on Wednesday, Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said that the embattled comedian “wants to get back to work,” and his team is “now planning town halls” to that end.
“We’ll talk to young people. Because this is bigger than Bill Cosby. You know, this issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today,” Wyatt said. “And they need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they’re doing certain things they shouldn’t be doing. And it also affects married men.”
The first town hall, Wyatt said, will be held in Birmingham sometime in July. No other dates or locations were announced, nor were specifics given about the Birmingham date.
Ebonee Benson, an associate of Wyatt’s who read comments from Cosby’s wife, Camille, following the end of the comedian’s trial in Norristown last week, added that “people need to be educated” about sexual-assault laws because “anything … can be considered sexual assault.”
“The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended,” Benson said. “So, this is why people need to be educated on a brush against the shoulder. You know, anything at this point can be considered sexual assault. And it’s … a good thing to be educated about the law.”
Wyatt, in a statement to the Associated Press on Thursday, said that a number of civic organizations and churches had contacted him asking Cosby to speak to young people about how the American judicial system can be used “for personal agenda and political ambitions.”
Gloria Allred, an attorney who represents other women who have accused Cosby of sex crimes, called Cosby’s apparent town-hall tour a “transparent and slick effort to attempt to influence the jury pool from which jurors will be selected for his second criminal trial.”
“Under the circumstances, Mr. Cosby should not be conducting sex-assault workshops,” Allred told Deadline, “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.”