So far, 13 women say that they have been sexually assaulted at his hands. The rest of us may never know for certain. But we do know some things.
– We know that Cosby reached a settlement in 2006 in a civil lawsuit filed by Andrea Constand in which 13 women were slated to testify that he had sexually assaulted them.
– We know that Barbara Bowman, who says she was one of the 13 who would have testified in that trial, has come forward in a Washington Post op-ed and a Huffington Post video interview with detailed accusations of Cosby having serially drugged and raped her when she was a teenaged actress under his mentorship.
– We know that rape is dramatically under-reported by its victims because of societal stigma, hostility toward victims by police, and the hellish ordeal faced by victims in the judicial process. In that light, 13 women being willing to testify in a sexual assault lawsuit against one man makes a statement of its own. And if even with those numbers you're wondering about sue-a-celebrity motives, you’d do well to ask a woman who has filed rape charges what the legal experience was like for her.
– We know that only after a man, comedian Hannibal Buress, has publicly called Cosby a rapist, have women’s decade-long public accusations against Cosby gained the seeming social legitimacy to go viral. That makes a statement as well.
– We know that, as of this writing, Cosby himself has nothing to say. In an NPR interview yesterday, Cosby responded with three consecutive silences when Scott Simon repeatedly asked him if he cared to give his side of the story.
To date, no criminal charges have been brought against Cosby. So far the greatest consequence for him has been the public contempt and humiliation of his bungled Twitter publicity stunt last week, in which tweeters he invited to post funny memes of him responded with brutally satirical representations of him as an alleged rapist.