Former sex crimes prosecutor: Many victims don't come forward out of fear

Fear, humiliation among reasons assault victims wait before accusing attacker

By Kent Justice - Anchor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Bill Cosby’s conviction comes on the basis of one woman who shared her story.

And then, many others say they too were sexually assaulted by the comedian.

It was too late for some of the accusers to proceed with criminal charges, due to the statute of limitations.

Former sex crimes prosecutor Rick Alexander said it’s common for sexual assault victims to wait long periods of time before accusing their attacker.

"The reason people wait is because, No. 1, they are humiliated and embarrassed," Alexander said. "They're afraid people won't believe them, which is often a valid fear, particularly when it's somebody they know, particularly when it's somebody who's a pillar of the community."

Cosby was known as America’s Dad, looked up to in most corners of the country.

Now, he’s heading to prison. 

Alexander said sometimes victims don’t come forward -- as a defense mechanism -- and flat-out fear.

"It's slowly becomes clear and it's partially because of the human psyche that tries to protect itself and say 'it's not that bad,'" he said. "(Or says) 'You know, this wasn't that bad. I'm not one of the people that's a victim.' So it's a way of psychologically defending themselves."

Andrew Wyatt, Cosby's spokesperson, said Cosby is not guilty and that the prosecution was part of a "sex war." 

He also said legal proceeding was "the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States.”

Alexander said that’s a perfect example of why victims fear people will not believe them if they reveal what happened.

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