Defense counsel for the victim?

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A truly Freudian slip in a story in the UK conservative newspaper the Daily Telegraph, speaking volumes about what goes wrong with so many rape and sexual assault prosecutions:

Camille Cosby, wife of the entertainer, issued a statement, read out by an associate on the court steps in a dramatically-delivered speech.

She attacked the judge as biased, and said the defence were “totally unethical.”

The defense? Andrea Constand and the other brave women who have accused Bill Cosby (they say he drugged them so he could enjoy sexual gratification without their consent) were not in the dock, and the lawyers arguing their case were not the defense team, but the prosecutors. The Telegraph journalist, Harriet Alexander, has apparently reversed the roles of the accused’s defense and the district attorney.

Women who have been assaulted have often reported feeling like they are the ones on trial. Here is the Telegraph actually putting it that way in cold newsprint (attributed wrongly to Camille Cosby).

The error is apparently down to Harriet Alexander (and of course the Telegraph editors who failed to spot what she had written). ABC News, for example, reports Mrs Cosby as saying: “How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? Totally unethical.” In the UK, the Guardian also has it right. Likewise all other accounts I can find.

I don’t know whether the Telegraph is yet aware of the slip, but at 5 p.m. UK time (noon Eastern time) it is still online. I conclude with the obligatory screenshot:



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