Local district attorney, domestic violence shelter respond to Cosby release

BRUNSWICK AND NEW HANOVER COUNTIES (WWAY) — Karmen Smith with Hope Harbor works with sexual assault survivors every day, encouraging them to tell their stories. When Bill Cosby’s case was overturned on what she calls a technicality, she worried about its potential impact.

“So one of the big impacts that I think this is going to have on victims is almost putting out this message that you know… give up,” Smith said. “Because if you go to court, you might not still get what you want.”

According to New Hanover County District Attorney, Ben David, the Pennsylvania D.A. had an obligation to uphold Cosby’s immunity agreement for that particular case.

“You know, no one is saying, other than the defendant and his legal team that Mr. Cosby is innocent,” said David. “The Supreme Court said he was guilty, but he should not have been tried based on the fundamental fairness that was involved.”

It’s a fundamental fairness Smith can’t help but see the irony in.

“They stated that Cosby’s rights were being violated by him being tried in this case and sentenced to three to ten years in prison. All I could think about was the rights that were violated by the 40 plus women that stepped forward,” Smith said.

However, that doesn’t mean Cosby can’t be tried for other cases. According to David, the more than 40 alleged victims who have come forward could still push for justice if the statute of limitation in the state where the events occurred hasn’t run out.

“I do not think this is the end of the road for Mr. Cosby,” David continued. “It’s the end of the road for that case, and it should be. And I want to be very clear on that. But whether he can face justice in other venues is up to those other 40 plus prosecutors. And I know if it happened here in our district, I’d certainly be looking at it.”

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