Well, would you look at this: Less than a week since embattled comedian Bill Cosby’s walked out of the court room a free man because of a mistrial, the 79-year-old now wants to “get back to work”—teaching young people about the threat of being accused of sexual violence, Cosby representatives said on Wednesday.
Andrew Wyatt, Cosby’s publicist, and Ebonee Benson, a spokeswoman for Camille Cosby, told Good Day Alabama host Janice Rogers that Cosby was planning town halls for youth starting this summer. “This issue,” Wyatt said, “can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today. And they need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying.”
It’s clear that the issue in question isn’t sexual assault itself, which studies have shown to affect as many as 1 in 5 college women, but rather the danger that young men (and even “married men,” Wyatt laughed) could be falsely accused. “People need to be educated on a brush against a shoulder—anything at this point can be considered sexual assault,” Benson chimed in.
According to the United States Department of Justice, sexual assault is “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.” Sexual assault is basically an umbrella term that includes sexual activities such as rape, fondling, and attempted rape.
However, the legal definition varies depending on which state you’re in, and can even be different depending on where you were when the assault happened, Emily Austin, director of advocacy services for California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, tells SELF. For example, she says, sexual assault on college campuses in California means a sex act that occurred without affirmative consent (which is described as active, voluntary participation), while California criminal law defines rape as nonconsensual sexual intercourse, and other laws govern different forms of sexual assault beyond intercourse.
Generally, sexual assault falls into one of three categories.
1. Penetration crimes
– Of a body part by another body part (i.e., penal penetration of mouth, anus, vagina)
– Of a body part by an object
2. Contact with genitalia, breast, buttocks, or other intimate body parts
3. Exposure of genitalia, breast, buttocks or other intimate body parts
A juror in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial says that 10 of the 12 jurors voted to convict the comedian, while the two holdouts felt he was innocent and refused to budge throughout the deliberations, according to ABC News. The case…