The Temple University community — both current students and faculty and its proud alumni — have largely remained silent as Bill Cosby, the school’s onetime favorite son, faces sexual assault charges.
However, on the outset of Monday’s trial in which the iconic comedian could face 10 years in prison, one of the university’s stronger voices has emerged.
David Weinraub, a Temple graduate who spent more than 30 years as a teacher, dean and high school principal, has challenged others to “review the evidence” against Cosby, who attended Temple and served 32 years on the university’s board of trustees.
Weinraub, who has closely followed the accusations of dozens by women who claim Cosby assaulted them, has put together a compelling argument, presented as if he were a lawyer, and asks students of a fictional law school to determine Cosby’s guilt or innocence.
“I’ve been following it from the beginning and saw the obvious time constraints with the statute of limitations in the case and I saw where a district attorney candidate ran on the Cosby issue,” said Weinraub, who now lives in New Jersey.
His “assignment” details the case through facts not always as widely reported as the allegations.
“Once the accusations were made public, many women came forth to say they too, had been molested by [Cosby],” Weinraub said. “Many of their stories had the same theme: they were thrilled to have this famous man show interest, and accompanied him to his digs where he surreptitiously slipped a drug in their drink. Later, they woke to find their clothes in disarray, and various forms of evidence suggesting some kind of sexual activity had taken place.”
None of the women came forward with a complaint within the legal time limit except for former Temple employee Andrea Constand. However, after prosecutors originally reviewed the evidence, it was determined that there wasn’t enough to convict Cosby, so Constand filed a civil suit seeking damages, Weinraub noted.
“The basis of her case was that on one of the many occasions she had visited Cosby, she was given a pill,” Weinraub wrote in the dissertation to students whom he’s asked to determine the outcome of the case. “When the drowsiness wore off, she looked down and saw that Cosby had his hand in her pants.
“She did not say that anything else had occurred, only that she saw his hand in her pants,” he wrote. “Cosby said the pill and any activity was consensual. She said it was not.”
Given the he-said-she-said testimony in such cases, prosecutors struck a deal with Cosby for him to tell his side of the story and that it would remain sealed, Weinraub said.
Also, a deal between Cosby and Constand was reached but years later, a new prosecutor stepped in and filed charges anyway despite the former prosecutor agreeing not to seek prosecution.
The new prosecutor wanted to bring in the previously sealed testimony made by Cosby in the civil suit, Weinraub said.
“After hearing the testimony of the old prosecutor who said he had indeed, made the deal, the presiding judge said in effect, ‘tough darts,’” he said, pointing out how Cosby’s private words could now be shared with a jury in a criminal trial and that the judge who allowed the testimony did so knowing that Constand’s claims could not be substantiated.
In his direction to the law students, Weinraub asked that they also consider Cosby’s request for a change of venue.
In summation, Weinraub said the only charge to be considered is that Cosby gave Constand a pill and placed his hand in her pants, all without permission.
“There is no other charge here,” he argued.
“You’ve heard firsthand from this woman, she did not acquiesce to take a pill from Cosby, nor did she want him to put his hand in her pants. Cosby’s testimony from the civil trail says he offered a portion of a pill and she accepted. At no time did she say no.”
Weinraub noted that Constand voluntarily came to Cosby’s house on several occasions and even returned after the alleged incident.
There was no immediate complaint of any sort until much later, when her mother got involved, he said.
“Then, after the prosecutor decided he couldn’t win a criminal case, the mother and daughter decided to sue in civil court … during the civil case, they made a deal, accepted money, and that was that until this new prosecutor searching for an issue that could help him win an election, said he would bring criminal charges against Cosby,” Weinraub said.
“She didn’t say he raped her,” he said. “She didn’t say he did anything else indecent. All she said was he put his hand in her pants without her permission, and that’s after cozying up on the couch with him for quite a time. There’s no proof here, only innuendo from a woman who took his money and then went back on her word.
“Why was she even there?” Weinraub said. “Why didn’t she leave? Innuendo is not proof. After all the times she voluntarily visited Cosby, and even instigated some of those visits, are you going to send a man to prison on her word alone? Are you going to send a man to prison because this woman said he had his hand in her pants?”
Weinraub asked his students to place themselves in the position of the presiding judge and present a verdict and rationale for it.
When asked what would be his verdict, Weinraub said, “Not guilty.”
Attempts to reach Montgomery County District Attorney Richard Steele and Constand’s attorney were unsuccessful. Temple officials had no comment.