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Bill Cosby will organize a series of town hall meetings to help educate young people about problems their misbehavior could create, a spokesman for the entertainer said Thursday.
Cosby is eager to get back to work following a deadlocked jury and mistrial in his sexual assault trial, spokesman Andrew Wyatt told Birmingham, Ala., TV station WBRC.
“We’ll talk to young people. Because this is bigger than Bill Cosby. You know, this, this issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today,” said Wyatt. “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,” added Wyatt, without elaborating.
“Is it kind of a, ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ situation?” the newscaster asked, but it was unclear if Wyatt heard and responded to the question.
Wyatt didn’t immediately reply to an interview request Thursday from the Associated Press. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an anti-sexual violence organization known as RAINN, responded to Cosby’s announced plans. “It would be more useful if Mr. Cosby would spend time talking with people about how not to commit sexual assault in the first place,” RAINN spokeswoman Jodi Omear said in a statement.
Also taking part in the TV interview was Wyatt associate Ebonee Benson, who had read comments from Cosby’s wife, Camille, slamming prosecutors after the trial’s end last weekend in Norristown, Pa.
“Laws are changing,” Benson said Thursday. “The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended. 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.”
Lecturing isn’t new for Cosby. In recent years, the comedian and actor became known for scolding fellow African-Americans for poor grammar, sloppy dress and not valuing education, critiques that drew fire from some as elitist.
A town hall will be held in Birmingham in July, Wyatt said. He didn’t identify the date or location or any other cities that will be visited.
During the trial, Andrea Constand testified that Cosby drugged and molested her at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Cosby said the encounter with the former director of women’s basketball operations at his alma mater, Temple University, was consensual. A juror in Cosby’s sexual assault trial said Thursday that some jurors were concerned that prosecutors waited 10 years to charge him, expressing suspicion that politics had played a role in the case.
The juror told the Associated Press that the panel was almost evenly split in its deliberations, with a similar number of jurors wanting to convict the 79-year-old entertainer as acquit him.
Cosby, who faced three counts of aggravated indecent assault, will be retried, the prosecutor has said.
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