WTVM Editorial 5/1/18: First celebrity conviction

(WTVM) - Nine Grammys. Three Emmys. A number one network TV show. The Presidential Medal of Freedom. And now, his conviction on three counts of aggravated sexual assault.

Those are the amazing triumphs and tragic fall of comedian Bill Cosby.

Bill Cosby became an entertainment institution. But in recent years, his criminal deeds caught up to him and made Bill Cosby the first mega-celebrity to face a jury trial and lose.

Last week a Pennsylvania jury convicted him of sexual abuse. It finally happened, after allegations from sixty women reaching back to the 1960's, simmered for years until the growing list of accusations involving drugging and assaulting women boiled over into a criminal case with all the lurid sexual details aired in open court.

The talented comedian has finally lost his audience. Cosby's story is mostly one of remarkable achievement. One of those Emmys he won was notable because he was the first African American to win one.

He was the first black man to star in a network series. His comedy was always sweet and funny and he often humanized family issues.

It would have once been unthinkable that Bill Cosby would ever be in a courtroom as a defendant of any kind.

But his life and his choices included dark and criminal deeds that eventually became too numerous to ignore.

Cosby's convictions should now give prosecutors targeting movie producer Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey more confidence to finally charge them with the same type of sexual offenses.

Bill Cosby is 80 years old. He will appeal his convictions which could take years and that means he may never spend a real night in jail.

But for the women he assaulted, and for the sexual assault victims of other men, famous or not, this long-sought verdict might finally give them some peace.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

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