The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recent reversal of Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction is a stark reminder of the need to ensure that policies better serve survivors of sexual violence. Professor Barbara McQuade’s recent New York Times op-ed is spot-on in blaming the prior prosecutor, Bruce Castor for his ill-advised and improper unconditional determination not to prosecute Cosby. As a prosecutor, Castor served as the gatekeeper in deciding whether there was sufficient credible evidence to support a conviction. Was Castor’s decision politically motivated? Castor was an elected official, so it is difficult to discount this possibility.
Politics must not drive the decisions by those who serve as gatekeepers to justice for survivors of sexual violence.