On June 17, a mistrial was declared in the high-profile Bill Cosby sexual assault trial. More than two years after dozens of women began to come forward to accuse the formerly beloved comedian of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them, Cosby walked away from his criminal trial a free man. At least for now, as prosecutors immediately announced they would be retrying Bill Cosby for his alleged sexual assault of Andrea Constand as soon as possible.
In the two years since roughly 60 women alleged that Cosby had sexually assaulted them, the actor has lost dozens of honors, including honorary degrees, based on the allegations against him. Many colleges and universities withdrew their honorary degrees from Bill Cosby immediately following the slew of highly-publicized sexual assault claims. It has been estimated that since the scandal broke, Cosby has lost honorary degrees from 20-to-25 schools.
On Friday, one more institute of higher learning added its name to the list of schools that has cut ties with Bill Cosby. As USA Today reported, the University of Missouri-Columbia has decided that Cosby is no longer worthy of being a recipient of an honorary degree from the school. The move reportedly came at the behest of the University of Missouri Board of Curators, who were spurred by the demands of staff and faculty.
It has been reported that System President Mun Choi was also on board with stripping Bill Cosby of his coveted honorary degree, in light of the allegations that Cosby had sexually assaulted scores of women. Following the decision, the University of Missouri issued a public statement explaining their decision.
“Honorary degrees throughout the University of Missouri System are reserved for those who have ascended to the pinnacle of their fields while conducting themselves consistent with the university’s core values. The evidence presented during the recent criminal trial indicated that (Cosby) engaged in behavior that is in direct conflict with the core values of the University of Missouri.”
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) June 23, 2017
Unlike the institutions that revoked Cosby’s honorary degrees in the immediate wake of the numerous sexual assault allegations against the comedian, the University of Missouri directly cited the evidence revealed at his criminal trial as the foundation for their decision.
But I bet they will not give back the money he gave them either
— Pastor Paige Harris (@PastorPHarris) June 23, 2017
Amazing decision! Great integrity!
— Venting & Shrinking (@Ventingshrinkin) June 23, 2017
If the university of Missouri take Bill Cosby honorary degree, they need to give him back all the money he spent for tuition.
— Graham ???????? (@theGrvham) June 24, 2017
way to go University of Missouri!…thanks for taking a stand against Bill Cosby!
— R. C. Clemens ???? (@rawxe) June 23, 2017
At his trial, which stemmed from the only sexual assault allegation that resulted in criminal charges, Bill Cosby was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent sexual assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand (an ex-Temple University employee) at his Pennsylvania home in 2004. Over the course of the trial, Cosby’s own words from an earlier civil trial deposition came back to haunt him.
In his civil deposition and related police interviews related to the alleged 2004 drugging and sexual assault, Bill Cosby admitted having several extramarital affairs. He also detailed his proclivity for getting sexual with young women, even plying them with quaaludes and other drugs.
— Brittany Ruess (@brittanyruess) June 21, 2017
Since the dozens of sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby became public, the comedian has been stripped of multiple honorary degrees. He has also been forced to resign (or forcibly removed) from multiple schools’ boards of trustees – including the Temple University board, his alma mater and the employer of alleged sexual assault victim Andrea Constand. Bill Cosby has also seen his famous name stripped from scholarships and university buildings as schools, now including the University of Missouri, attempted to distance themselves from his sexual assault scandal.
[Featured Image by Matt Rourke/AP Images]