Yale University Votes To Rescind Honorary Degree Given To Bill Cosby
Yale University has revoked an honorary degree given to Bill Cosby. The comedian has been stripped of the honor following his sexual assault conviction.
Justice Was Served
The embattled comedian, famous for being "America's Dad" on The Cosby Show, was finally convicted on three counts of aggravated assault earlier this week.
The charge, which dates back to 2004, related to former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.
Cosby was found guilty of drugging and molesting Constand at his Pennsylvania home. The comedian claimed the encounter was consensual. During the highly publicized trial, five other women gave testimony about having been drugged and assaulted by Cosby.
Rescinding The Honor
Now, the Yale University Board of Trustees has voted to rescind Cosby's honorary degree awarded to him in 2003. The Board released a statement confirming same Tuesday night, May 2.
"Today the Yale University board of trustees voted to rescind the honorary degree awarded to William H. Cosby, Jr. in 2003. The decision is based on a court record providing clear and convincing evidence of conduct that violates fundamental standards of decency shared by all members of the Yale community, conduct that was unknown to the board at the time the degree was awarded. The board took this decision following Mr. Cosby's criminal conviction after he was afforded due process," it read.
The university takes a zero-tolerance stand against sexual assault, reconfirming its position in the statement.
"Yale is committed to both the elimination of sexual misconduct and the adherence to due process. We reaffirm that commitment with our action today," continued the statement.
Wesleyan University President Michael Roth also took the opportunity to confirm he intends to request the Board of Trustees to revoke the honorary degree the school awarded to Cosby in 1987. He's due to make his pledge in May.
These moves follow that of the University of Connecticut, which in 2016 revoked an honorary degree awarded to Cosby back in 1996, the first time the school had ever done so.
A Major Turning Point
The lengthy court case, which initially resulted in a mistrial when he was first charged back in 2015, has destroyed the legacy of the once beloved comedian.
Cosby faces 10 years in prison on each count, with his attorneys reportedly set to appeal. His conviction comes almost a year after charges were first heard in court.
One of the jurors told ABC News last week that it was Cosby's own words that led to him ultimately being convicted.
"It was his deposition, really. Mr. Cosby admitted to giving these Quaaludes to women, young women, in order to have sex with them. If you were there, you would say the same thing. You would say that he's guilty," he explained.
Cosby's conviction was seen as a major victory of the #MeToo movement, with scenes caught on camera following the announcement of the verdict showing ecstatic women crying and hugging each other in triumph.