The Greenfield Recorder
September 27, 2018
Many years ago, a Franklin County priest, much respected and beloved by the adults in his flock, was accused by a young teenage boy of sexual assault. The parishioners were horrified at the accusation — that the youth could even think such a thing. The victim became a pariah. Until he wasn’t. Until evidence mounted and the priest was charged in court and eventually pleaded guilty.
Over the years, what seemed like a local aberration turned into a worldwide scandal, with continuing revelations of abuse by many Catholic clergy and inaction by many of their superiors. More recently, we have seen the pattern repeated and spawn the #MeToo movement as powerful lay people — entertainment and media celebrities, politicians, judges and yes, presidents Democratic and Republican — have been accused of sexual harassment, abuse and assault against people less powerful than them and more vulnerable.
On Tuesday, 81-year-old Bill Cosby saw his Hollywood career and good-guy image transformed as he was officially branded a “violent sexual predator” and sentenced to 3 to 10 years in Pennsylvania state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman, becoming the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to be sent to prison.
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