Accuser: I saw violence in Bill Cosby

Kathy McKee, who has accused Bill Cosby of attacking her in 1974, shares her reaction to his sentencing with CNN's Brooke Baldwin. Cosby has denied McKee's claim.

Posted: Sep 26, 2018 5:28 PM
Updated: Sep 26, 2018 5:43 PM

It was a day many of the women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault thought they would never see.

And when it finally came, some said it fell short of their expectations.

Nevertheless, when Cosby was sentenced on Tuesday, several of the women said it brought them a measure of closure that once seemed out of reach.

"Today, I feel a victory in my soul and in my heart," said Sarita Butterfield, who claims Cosby drugged and raped her in his home on Christmas Eve 1979.

"Today, I am free."

Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years for the aggravated indecent assault of Andrea Constand in 2004. He has maintained his innocence in Constand's case and regarding other accusations. Judge Steven O'Neill characterized that stance as a lack of remorse, which factored into his sentence.

Dozens of other women have come forward over the years with similar allegations that the man once known as "America's dad" drugged and raped them. Most of those claims will never go to trial because of state laws that set time limits on prosecuting sex crimes, and to some, the women may forever be known as "accusers" rather than victims or survivors.

But now many of those women say they feel emboldened to challenge statutes of limitations so other victims will have a chance at justice.

Several women who have accused Cosby of assault shared their reactions to his sentence on Tuesday. Here's what they had to say.

'My life could have been so much more'

Stacey Pinkerton was one of many women to accuse Cosby of sending her life into a tailspin after an alleged encounter in 1986.

People told her to keep quiet about it, so she did until she started hearing accounts from other women, she said.

"How has it impacted my life? It is impacted in every way possible, most of all my health, my career and decision to further my studies at the time."

She moved repeatedly after the alleged encounter, she said. She eventually settled in Europe, a place where it was possible to avoid seeing his face on television in the heyday of his career.

"No place was far enough away from Mr. Cosby," she said. "No matter what, these things stay with you forever. It affects your health and trust."

Sunni Welles said she was a virgin when Cosby drugged and raped her in 1965. Her mother, a Hollywood agent, was a friend of his, Welles said. When Cosby invited 17-year-old Welles to a nightclub, her mother "felt in every way that she could trust him," Welles said in Tuesday's news conference.

Now, Welles said, she has trouble trusting anyone. She has struggled to maintain sexually intimate relationships and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, she said.

"You looked for weaknesses that you could exploit," Welles said, addressing Cosby. "My life could have been so much more and so much better than what it became."

Mixed emotions

For many woman, the sentencing was bittersweet, given Cosby's continued claims of innocence.

Kathy McKee, who has accused the comedian of attacking her in 1974, said an apology would have made the sentencing complete.

"I saw the violence in Bill Cosby when he attacked me," she said. "I'm just struggling to keep going every day."

McKee is one of several women suing Cosby for defamation, another potential avenue of justice for accusers who may never have their day in criminal court.

Still, the allegations against Cosby led California to drop its statute of limitations on rape, and many women said the fight will continue.

"Your arrogance led a group of wounded women to come together, to support one another, to form a bond that can never be broken," Janice Baker-Kinney, who testified against Cosby, wrote in a statement addressing him directly. Her lawyer, Gloria Allred, read her comments aloud during a news conference after Tuesday's sentencing.

"Your arrogance sparked a movement that has grown to thousands of women taking back their self-esteem and proudly standing up for what is morally right," Baker-Kinney said.

"Thank you for your enormous ego and arrogance, for without it we might not be here today."

Linda Kirkpatrick urged people not to pity Cosby because of his age. "He did not consider my age when he gave me a life sentence of traumatic memories," she said.

Actress Lili Bernard called the sentence a "hallelujah moment" despite feeling "mixed emotions" over its length.

"On the one hand I feel absolutely elated that justice was served. On the other hand I also feel disappointed, because clearly the three-year minimum sentence does not adequately reflect the havoc this man, this rapist, has inflicted on so many women, including myself," Bernard said.

"It does indicate there is now a shift in the legal system that is now going to reflect modern culture, and that now women's voices are being believed and women's lives are being valued."

Terre Haute
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 32°
Robinson
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 34°
Indianapolis
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 31°
Rockville
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 31°
Casey
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 29°
Brazil
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 32°
Marshall
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 32°
Peaceful Weather
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 697489

Reported Deaths: 12594
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook2961296450
DuPage43513770
Will37368553
Lake36001623
Kane30756459
Winnebago18330259
Madison13868241
McHenry13788155
St. Clair12765256
Champaign1053857
Sangamon972599
Peoria8739129
Rock Island8358133
Kankakee8341103
McLean811354
Tazewell6480102
Macon6268129
Kendall606044
LaSalle5907132
DeKalb480846
Adams464448
Boone376133
Vermilion374247
Whiteside3631106
Williamson349180
Coles325358
Clinton323560
Ogle275233
Knox270462
Effingham265621
Grundy264418
Jackson259036
Henry253614
Marion239150
Stephenson237834
Livingston218424
Randolph218326
Morgan214035
Macoupin210817
Bureau205041
Monroe200144
Franklin198725
Lee189429
Christian184142
Jefferson180959
Woodford166826
Fayette163828
Logan161713
Iroquois161526
McDonough155440
Fulton139911
Shelby133826
Douglas131416
Jersey120523
Union116128
Montgomery111519
Crawford109313
Saline108624
Perry105223
Jo Daviess104917
Warren104420
Carroll102824
Bond100710
Lawrence99610
Pike99027
Cass94723
Hancock93612
Wayne86833
Moultrie86610
Clay81319
Greene80728
Edgar77516
Clark77019
Piatt7585
Ford72922
Richland72319
Mercer71210
Mason70219
Johnson6996
Washington6642
Jasper63411
Cumberland60616
De Witt59617
White5868
Massac5793
Wabash5318
Menard4441
Unassigned4340
Pulaski4072
Marshall3826
Hamilton3763
Brown3183
Henderson2760
Schuyler2641
Alexander2522
Putnam2400
Stark2363
Calhoun2310
Scott2310
Edwards2233
Gallatin1873
Hardin1440
Pope941
Out of IL200

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 318894

Reported Deaths: 5561
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion43391855
Lake27599462
Allen18363299
Elkhart17474226
St. Joseph17071234
Hamilton13376169
Vanderburgh9839121
Tippecanoe880629
Porter844886
Johnson6556169
Hendricks6267158
Vigo618187
Monroe542850
Clark522877
Madison5153122
Delaware5014103
LaPorte474695
Kosciusko468540
Howard357977
Warrick329872
Floyd324978
Bartholomew323563
Wayne318074
Marshall308146
Cass302631
Grant282050
Noble261546
Hancock260355
Henry252837
Boone248754
Dubois242931
Dearborn222631
Jackson222534
Morgan215543
Knox189720
Shelby189556
Gibson189426
Clinton182121
DeKalb181632
Lawrence179748
Adams171022
Wabash168121
Miami166614
Daviess160144
Steuben150713
Fayette150034
Jasper147413
Montgomery146627
Harrison145524
LaGrange145031
Whitley140814
Ripley138515
Huntington130910
Decatur128243
Wells127930
Putnam127828
White127522
Clay126523
Randolph126121
Posey124116
Jefferson122916
Scott112320
Greene104653
Jay100713
Sullivan99216
Starke94021
Jennings88714
Fulton86419
Spencer8588
Perry83721
Fountain8078
Washington7837
Franklin71327
Carroll69613
Orange69028
Vermillion6444
Owen6317
Tipton58927
Parke5886
Newton56912
Rush5658
Blackford54012
Pike51619
Pulaski41115
Martin3645
Benton3553
Brown3514
Crawford3031
Union2752
Switzerland2605
Warren2542
Ohio2337
Unassigned0266