Jeff Herman on Sexual Assault Victims
Attorney Jeff Herman is a leading advocate for adult and child victims of sex crimes; he has championed the rights of victims and won many verdicts and settlements to compensate these victims. The criminal trial and conviction of Bill Cosby was an occasion to assess public attitudes on sexual assault and sexual assault victims.
– Expert Testimony on Victims
In The Bill Cosby Trial (Source: Jeff Herman, Esq. in Medium The Downfall of Bill Cosby, America’s Dad), Jeff Herman noted the vital role of expert testimony and the evidence she provided to the court and jury. Among the items in her testimony were the so-called rape myths. These include below-described typical elements of the sexual predator defense.
- That the victim somehow asked for the assault
- That victims do not always remember details of the assault
- That it sometimes takes months or years for the victim to come forward
Jeff Herman watched the Cosby trial with intense inte rest; he found that it reflected of the change in social attitudes. The trial testimony pointed out some vital factors about the nature of sexual assault. The evidence showed that less than seven percent of the sexual abuse accusations are false, and the figure may be as low as two percent. More than 85 percent of accusers know the person that assaulted them; strangers do not commit most assaults. Further, fewer than 30 percent of victims report their assaults to the police, and victims frequently maintain or continue a relationship with the attacker as a means of making sense of the events. Go Here for more information.
The Cosby-trial expert was Dr. Barbara Ziv. Dr. Ziv informed the jury that there is a mistaken public opinion that victims do something to cause the assault to occur. She reiterated that victims are often fuzzy about the details and frequently wait long periods before reporting the assault.
– Going Forward
Jeff Herman believes that the Cosby trial and conviction reflect social change and greater acceptance of the claims of sexual assault victims. Attorney Herman does not conduct criminal trials; his role is to seek and obtain justice for victims in civil court. Herman wins verdicts and achieves settlements that provide healing and financial support for putting the victim’s life back together.