President Barack Obama on Wednesday rejected the idea of revoking Bill Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom because of sexual misconduct allegations.
“There’s no precedent for revoking a medal,” Obama said. “We don’t have that mechanism.”
The president, who was asked about Cosby and his medal at a news conference, declined to address specific allegations against the entertainer because there are pending legal matters. But Obama left no question about his thinking on the larger issue of drugs, consent and rape.
“If you give a woman, or a man, for that matter, without his or her knowledge a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape,” he said. “And I think this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape.”
Court documents obtained by The Associated Press have revealed that Cosby acknowledged under oath in 2005 that he obtained Quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex. The documents weren’t clear on whether the women consented to being drugged.
More than two dozen women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct in the past four decades, and many of them alleged that he drugged them before sex.
The 77-year-old comedian, who has never been charged with a crime, has denied some accusations while declining to comment or respond to others.
A sexual assault awareness group has petitioned the White House to revoke Cosby’s presidential medal. It was awarded to him in 2002 by President George W. Bush.
Source: The AP