Martha C. Nussbaum on Accountability in an Era of Celebrity

Accountability in an Era of Celebrity: Sexual Violence, Culture and the Law

On 30 December 2015, actor Bill Cosby was finally charged with sexual assault.

For anyone who has followed the case, one striking aspect is how late an actual indictment came, and after a huge number of accusations. One legal problem has been the statute of limitations for rape, an issue by now much discussed.

But another obvious aspect is the fact that as a society we have created a class of glamorous and powerful men - entertainers, athletes - who are in a most literal sense above the law.

These men will almost always prevail against all accusations, no matter what they do in the sexual domain, because they are shielded by glamor, public trust and access to the best legal representation.

Cosby might prove the exception only because his abuses of women were so numerous and so flagrant. What I think as I read the news is, "For one Cosby, there are hundreds like him who will never be indicted."

Read more at ABC Religion and Ethics