Monticello Is Done Avoiding Jefferson’s Relationship With Sally Hemings

A new exhibit grapples with the reality of slavery and deals a final blow to two centuries of ignoring or covering up what amounted to an open secret.

A new exhibit at Monticello is dedicated to Sally Hemings, an enslaved woman owned by Thomas Jefferson.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The room — brick-floored, plaster-walled, empty — is simple.

The life it represents was anything but.

The newly opened space at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s palatial mountaintop plantation, is presented as the living quarters of Sally Hemings, an enslaved woman who bore the founding father’s children. But it is more than an exhibit.

It’s the culmination of a 25-year effort to grapple with the reality of slavery in the home of one of liberty’s most eloquent champions. The Sally Hemings room opens to the public on Saturday, alongside a room dedicated to the oral histories of the descendants of slaves at Monticello, and the earliest kitchen at the house, where Hemings’s brother cooked.

The public opening deals a final blow to two centuries of ignoring, playing down or covering up what amounted to an open secret during Jefferson’s life: his relationship with a slave that spanned nearly four decades, from his time abroad in Paris to his death.

To make the exhibit possible, curators had to wrestle with a host of thorny questions. How to accurately portray a woman for whom no photograph exists? (The solution: casting a shadow on a wall.) How to handle the skepticism of those who remain unpersuaded by the mounting evidence that Jefferson was indeed the father of Hemings’s children? (The solution: tell the story entirely in quotes from her son Madison.)

And, thorniest of all, in an era of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo: How to describe the decades-long sexual relationship between Jefferson and Hemings? Should it be described as rape?

“We really can’t know what the dynamic was,” said Leslie Greene Bowman, president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. “Was it rape? Was there affection? We felt we had to present a range of views, including the most painful one.”

After a DNA test in 1998, the nonprofit foundation, which owns Monticello, determined that there was a “high probability” that Jefferson fathered at least one of Hemings’s children, and that he likely fathered them all. The new exhibit asserts Jefferson’s paternity as a fact.

The cabin of John and Priscilla Hemmings, who were enslaved, on Mulberry Row at Monticello.
Mulberry Row was home to both free and enslaved blacks during Jefferson’s time.
Curators at Monticello had to wrestle with a host of thorny questions to make the exhibit possible.

And it is phasing out the popular “house tour” of the mansion, which made only minimal mention of slavery alongside Jefferson’s accomplishments, radically changing what is experienced by the more than 400,000 tourists who visit Monticello annually.

Thanks to a short description given by one of Jefferson’s grandsons, historians believe that Hemings lived in the slave quarters in the South Wing. But they aren’t sure which room. Curators decided to tell Hemings’s story in one of the rooms. Instead of making it a period room with objects that she might have possessed, they left it empty, projecting the words of her son Madison on the wall to tell her story.

The 1995 movie “Jefferson in Paris” imagined that Hemings and Jefferson loved each other. But no one knows how they really felt. Their sexual relationship is believed to have started in France, where slavery was outlawed. Hemings wanted to remain in Paris, where she could have been granted freedom, but she eventually returned to Virginia with Jefferson after he offered her extraordinary privileges and freedom for any children she might have, according to an account by Madison Hemings. Her children, who were all fair-skinned and named after Jefferson’s friends, were freed when they reached adulthood.

No portrait or photograph exists of Hemings. Even her skin tone remains a mystery, and a source of controversy. Cartoons in the 18th century, which aimed to derail Jefferson’s political career, portrayed her as dark-skinned. But her father was a white plantation owner and her mother, an enslaved woman, was of mixed race. One account described Hemings as “mighty near white.” Curators at Monticello opted not to recreate a physical image of her. Instead, they will project a woman’s shadow on a wall.

More than 400,000 tourists a year visit the mountaintop plantation.
Jefferson’s suite at Monticello. Historians believe that Hemings lived in the slave quarters in the South Wing.
The new exhibit includes a room dedicated to the oral histories of the descendants of slaves at Monticello, and the earliest kitchen at the house, where Hemings’s brother cooked.
A textile workshop on Mulberry Row.

The exhibit has divided the white descendants of Jefferson’s acknowledged family, and stoked outrage among a small but determined group of Jefferson enthusiasts who insist that he didn’t father Hemings’s children.

“The charge is an extremely serious charge against him,” said Mary Kelley, a sculptor from Chevy Chase, Md., who took a tour of Monticello in 2013 and was shocked by what she considered to be the guide’s negative tone about a man she has always idolized.

Afterward, she joined the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society, a group that was formed to dispute the growing historical consensus that Jefferson fathered Hemings’s children.

Now Ms. Kelley hunts down clues about who else could have fathered Hemings’s children and writes articles criticizing the plans for the Sally Hemings exhibit. She even created an artistically rendered drawing of the DNA used in the 1998 paternity test, and plans to attend a coming conference in Charlottesville, where heritage society members will share papers they have written.

“Some nights I just curl up in the semidark and just read his letters,” she says of Jefferson. “He just doesn’t seem to be a person who would do this.”

John H. Works Jr., a descendant of Jefferson’s who is among the founding members of the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society, accuses the nonprofit organization that runs Monticello of bowing to political correctness, and insists that the entire premise of the exhibit is flawed.

But his brother, David Works, who has embraced the descendants of slaves at Monticello as “cousins,” attended a special viewing on Friday to celebrate.

“They are actually showing it as it was,” he said.

Annette Gordon-Reed, a history professor at Harvard University whose book, “Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy,” helped bolster Monticello’s transformation, said that it would take time for people to accept the changes.

“Some people come here and say, ‘I didn’t come here, to a slave plantation, to hear about slavery,’” she said. “There’s nothing to do but keep pushing back.”

No portrait or photograph exists of Hemings, so curators opted not to recreate a physical image of her.

How Universities Deal With Sexual Harassment Needs Sweeping Change, Panel Says

“We really have to move beyond a mind-set of legal compliance and liability and think about the ways we can change the climate,” Dr. Paula A. Johnson, the president of Wellesley College and a co-chairwoman of the committee that produced the report, said in an interview.

Dr. Paula A. Johnson, the president of Wellesley College, co-chaired the committee that produced the report.CreditDina Rudick/The Boston Globe, via Getty Images

The committee identified three types of sexual harassment: sexual coercion, unwanted sexual attention and gender harassment. It said gender harassment, “verbal and nonverbal behaviors that convey hostility, objectification, exclusion or second-class status,” was by far the most common type women in these fields experienced.

“As opposed to the come-ons, you can kind of think of them as the put-downs,” said Dr. Johnson, who is also a cardiologist and former chief of the division of women’s health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “And when there’s more pervasive gender harassment, there’s proclivity toward unwanted sexual attention or sexual coercion.”

Harassment is more pervasive in medicine than in academic science and engineering, the committee found. “There is still the idea of medical training as being akin to hazing,” Elizabeth L. Hillman, president of Mills College and another committee member, said in an interview.

Medical students often work long, grueling hours where they can be alone with a potential harasser, she said, and “harassment comes too from patients and patients’ families.”

In any form, the costs for women — and for science’s ability to retain the full range of talented people — can be great, even if the consequences can seem subtle at first, the panel said.

“Sexual harassment undermines women’s professional and educational attainment and mental and physical health,” the report said. Women who are harassed may quit but also may distance themselves from work without actually quitting. They may feel disillusioned, angry or stressed, and their productivity may decline. Harassed students’ academic performance may suffer; they may change advisers or majors, drop classes or drop out.

The Bikini Contest Is Over, but We Are Living Inside the Beauty Pageant

Of course, President Trump is the crude outlier here, as he is for so many civilized norms. But far too often when I hear a man describe a woman as “super fit,” my brain substitutes some variation of Mr. Trump’s locker-room talk.

The game is now all about discretion — of insisting you aren’t working hard while you are absolutely gritting your teeth, of telling your date that you just don’t like bread. While men pretend not to judge women for the way they look, we go to great lengths to pretend we don’t care, either.

Contestants in the first Miss America pageant in 1921 lining up in their swimsuits.CreditAssociated Press

And so we blend leaves together and call it “delicious” and “juice” instead of a mealy sludge.

We wear stilts to hike around concrete jungles and lie about how they are anything other than medieval torture devices.

We get the tiny horns on the tips of our fingers and toes painted in shades so subtle that heterosexual men don’t even realize we got them painted at all.

We shell out hundreds of dollars for magic elixirs and oils the size of Theranos Nanotainers that don’t even promise youth but boast that they are “clean.”

We lie under fluorescent lights and hold our thighs open for strips of burning hot wax while we chat about the new season of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

College Removes Instructors as Students Find Their #MeToo Moment

In one complaint, Dominique Machain said that in 2016, when she was a freshman, Roy Frumkes, her narrative writing professor, told her in graphic detail about a student he said had gone to his apartment and had sex with him. Then, she said, he added that if she wanted a recommendation she should visit him there. The implication, Ms. Machain said, was clear.

“I almost felt paralyzed,” she said.

Roy Frumkes was found to have violated the sexual misconduct policy at the School of Visual Arts by administrators.CreditLars Niki/Getty Images

In recent weeks the school responded, saying Mr. Frumkes’ employment had been terminated after an investigation found that he had violated the school’s sexual misconduct policy, according to a letter from an administrator. The letter did not detail the findings. Mr. Frumkes, who did not respond to requests for comment, is appealing. The school’s letter said that until his right to appeal has lapsed or been exhausted his employment would be suspended.

Another instructor in the department, Robert Haufrecht, was suspended in March and his contract was not renewed. The school said the suspension was in response to concerns raised by students but did not detail them. One student, Ashley Priessnitz, said she had complained last semester that Mr. Haufrecht, her acting teacher, had showed her unwanted attention, and had told her in class to rehearse suggestive scenarios, like washing herself.

“I started wearing baggy clothes to class because any time I wore normal clothing he would comment on my appearance,” Ms. Priessnitz said. “If I saw him in a hallway at school I would duck around a corner.”

Mr. Haufrecht declined to comment.

Several weeks ago, an administrator in the film and animation department, Mary Lee Grisanti, wrote to students, referring to Mr. Haufrecht. “I want you to know that your voices have been heard by this school at the highest levels,” she said.

DealBook Briefing: With Eric Schneiderman Gone, Who Will Be New York’s Next Top Business Cop?



Controversy over the firing of a senior D.E. Shaw executive

D.E. Shaw said yesterday that it had fired Daniel Michalow, a longtime executive at the hedge fund, for what it said were “gross violations of our standards and values.” An unnamed source told Bloomberg that he faced accusations of mistreating women.

Mr. Michalow responded in a letter to David Shaw, D.E. Shaw’s founder, saying the firm had told him he hadn’t been accused of sexual misconduct. He admitted “an abrasive and intolerant management style,” but denied sexually mistreating anyone.

From what Mr. Michalow tweeted was “the letter D.E. Shaw spent all day trying to make sure you couldn’t read”:

The firm’s bullying and threats against me over the last week, however, have revealed that the firm is so concerned with creating the appearance of supporting women that it is willing to cast false aspersions on me (and perpetuate false aspersions cast by others) and make me a scapegoat with a proverbial hanging in the town square.


Rupert Murdoch

Jewel Samad/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Will Murdoch turn down a sweetened Comcast bid?

If Comcast goes through with a higher bid for the 21st Century Fox assets that Disney has agreed to buy for $52.4 billion, as Reuters and the WSJ report, would Rupert Murdoch be swayed? Two reasons he might not be:

• Mr. Murdoch already spurned a Comcast offer 16 percent higher than what Disney’s, saying regulators were more likely to block it. (Comcast would move again only if AT&T gets its Time Warner deal.)

• He prefers receiving stock, as he would from Disney, because that’s a tax-free transaction.

The context: Comcast is also making life difficult for Mr. Murdoch and Disney by challenging Fox’s bid for full ownership of Sky, the British satellite broadcaster.

The political flyaround

• President Trump’s expected withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal is likely raise oil prices, already at $70 a barrel.

• Tokyo is becoming closer politically to Beijing, partly because it fears a U.S.-China trade war. (Axios)

• Mr. Trump is asking Congress to withdraw $15 billion in agreed spending, primarily from the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Affordable Care Act. (WaPo)

• Qatar has reportedly expressed interest in investing in Newsmax, a publisher that supports Mr. Trump. (Politico)

• Mick Mulvaney has made his biggest mark in Washington not in the federal budget but at the C.F.P.B. (NYT)

• Don Blankenship, the former Massey Energy C.E.O. seeking a Senate seat in West Virginia, shrugged off Mr. Trump’s opposition to him ahead of a primary today. (Politico)



Ray Dalio gets animated

He’s had a cartoon mini-series made from his book “Principles.” Here’s what the billionaire Bridgewater founder told friends in a note:

“A number of people also requested that I distill it down to its essential concepts in a 30-minute animation, like I did with my Economic Principles in How the Economic Machine Works. So I’ve done that in an 8 episode ultra mini-series adventure called ‘Principles for Success,’ which I’m releasing today”


Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

The deals flyaround

• Shire’s board formally accepted a $62 billion takeover bid by Takeda Pharmaceuticals of Japan, one of the biggest ever in the drug industry. (FT)

• Walmart’s deal to buy control of Flipkart of India for nearly $15 billion could be announced as soon as this week. (WSJ)

• Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason said that they would consider any bid for Xerox worth at least $40 a share, as they continued to try and oust the company’s C.E.O., Jeff Jacobson. Separately, Mr. Icahn appears to have scaled back his A.I.G. investment.

• Elliott Management offered to buy Athenahealth for $6.5 billion. Citigroup’s shares rose in postmarket trading after the WSJ reported that ValueAct has a $1.2 billion stake in it.

• Within T-Mobile and Sprint, their $26.5 billion deal was code-named “Lakes,” with T-Mobile being “Tahoe” and Sprint “Salt.” (Bloomberg)

• The European payments start-up iZettle plans to go public. (iZettle)


Elon Musk at the Met Gala with the musician Grimes.

Angela Weiss/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

More on Buffett, Musk and moats

The business world has chortled over an unlikely spat: Warren Buffett and Elon Musk trading barbs over the candy industry and business moats. But there’s a legitimate concern in there, Andrew writes in his latest column: Moats still exist, and it remains hard for upstarts to break into banking, tech or, yes, automobiles.

More from Andrew:

Whether they have been dug by a company’s experienced hand, the good will of its customers or the heavy machinery of governmental regulation, moats remain a formidable form of protection, even from the most willing of raiders.

Critics’ corner: Investors are already choosing sides in the fight, John Foley of Breakingviews writes.

More on Mr. Musk: Tesla’s 10-Q raises more questions he might find “boring.” A rare glimpse inside Tesla’s Model 3 factory.

More on Mr. Buffett: Why Berkshire shareholders love going to “the meeting.”


An Uber self-driving car.

Eric Risberg/Associated Press

The tech flyaround

• The Uber self-driving car involved in a fatal accident in March reportedly detected the pedestrian it hit, and decided she was a false positive. Egyptian lawmakers want ride-hailing companies to turn over passenger data if asked., an autonomous cab service, plans to open in Dallas.

• The parent company of the N.Y.S.E. has been working on an online Bitcoin trading platform. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates still aren’t into cryptocurrencies. Researchers at the San Francisco Fed blamed Bitcoin’s price drop on futures trading.

• Microsoft wants to position itself as the tech industry’s conscience. (NYT)

• Piazza Technologies, computer science students’ favorite social network, wants to be Silicon Valley’s new recruiting service. (Bloomberg)

Revolving door

• Snap has hired Tim Stone, a vice president of finance at Amazon, as its C.F.O. (Recode)

• Uber has hired Christopher Hart, the former head of the National Transportation Safety Board, as an adviser. (Bloomberg)

• Abernathy MacGregor, the P.R. firm, named Carina Davidson as its president. (Abernathy MacGregor)

The speed read

• Unions have rejected a pay offer at Air France-KLM, testing Emmanuel Macron’s labor policies. (NYT)

• California now has the world’s fifth largest economy. (NYT)

• Ant Financial’s sprawling business interests could increase its exposure to new regulations in China. (Bloomberg)

• Bank of America is preparing a critical loan for Remington Outdoor just weeks after it said it would stop financing “military-style” firearms for civilians. (Reuters)

• Deliveroo will spend $13 million on free medical insurance for 35,000 food delivery drivers worldwide, but stopped short of further benefits to avoid the risk of having to treat them as employees. (CNBC)

• Private placements are a fast-growing type of investment, but frequently involve brokers with red flags in their records. (WSJ)

• Samsung Securities said it intended to file a criminal lawsuit against employees who sold shares the company mistakenly issued during a “fat finger” incident last month. (WSJ)

• Britain’s oldest bank has made a 32-year-old member of the controlling family a partner, hoping for what it called “millennial thinking.” (FT)

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Op-Ed Columnist: #MeToo Goes Global

She was an 8-year-old girl with thick brown hair, large brown eyes, a purple dress and a fondness for running through the fields in northern India where she tended horses.

Then a man called her into the nearby forest, grabbed her by the neck and forced her to take sleeping pills, according to police accounts. The man dragged the girl, Asifa Bano, to a Hindu temple, where he and other men raped her repeatedly over three days, before murdering her — after one man insisted on raping her one last time. Asifa’s body was left in the forest.

Murder and rape happen in all societies, but this girl’s body was a battleground: Hindu extremists were trying to terrorize and drive out the Muslim community that Asifa belonged to. The killing triggered a huge controversy in India, with some Hindu lawyers and housewives protesting against prosecution of the murder suspects and Prime Minister Narendra Modi keeping shamefully silent for too long. To their credit, many middle-class Indians, including Hindus, mobilized to demand justice for Asifa.

There’s a lesson from that horror story and millions more like it. The #MeToo movement has had a stunning impact across America, eroding the impunity that allowed powerful men to get away with sexual assault and harassment. But we now need a global effort — by rich and poor nations alike — to make the #MeToo principles truly universal.

Asifa Bano

A few glimpses of the scale of sexual violence as one of the top human rights challenges of our time:

A United Nations study of 10,000 men in six countries in Asia and the Pacific found that almost one-quarter acknowledged having raped a woman, including 62 percent of men in part of Papua New Guinea. A separate 2011 study found that 37 percent of men in part of South Africa said they had raped a woman.

■ More than 125 million women and girls in Africa and Asia have suffered female genital mutilation. In Somalia and some other countries, almost all the genital flesh is cut away and the vaginal opening is sewn closed with wild thorns, to remain nearly sealed until the girl is married.

■ A girl under the age of 18 is married every three seconds somewhere in the world, according to Unicef. (Even in the United States, thousands of underage girls are married each year, a few of them just 12, 13 or 14.) Whether in Bangladesh or in Texas, these child marriages are sometimes coerced and leave girls particularly vulnerable to rape and beating.

So let’s see #MeToo as a global human rights movement.

We tend to think of “human rights” in terms of political dissidents being tortured, but gender violence is not only far more common but also sometimes institutionalized and shaped by legal codes and government policy. Indeed, in Myanmar last year, the government appears to have sponsored a policy of mass rape as part of a strategy to terrorize the Rohingya and drive them away. Those Rohingya women who speak up about this are truly heroic.

But we should all be speaking up, regardless of gender or geography. These assaults and indignities don’t affect women alone, because these patterns of violence and repression suppress talent and hold back entire societies. When millions of girls and women are brutalized, we’re all diminished.

The civil rights movement wasn’t an issue just for black people, gay rights don’t affect gays alone and widespread violence against women is a human rights violation that constitutes a moral and pragmatic challenge to all of us, men as well as women. At its extreme, this is just another form of terrorism.

The U.S. could show leadership in addressing these issues. A starting point would be for Congress to pass the long-stalled International Violence Against Women Act, which would require the U.S. to adopt a strategy to confront gender violence around the world and work with other countries to reduce it.

Another useful step would be for Western countries to use aid programs more frequently to end impunity. We can train the police and the courts abroad to treat sexual violence cases more seriously, and hospitals and clinics to treat victims with more professionalism and compassion. Crucially, we can also support women’s groups in other countries as they try to raise these issues on their national agendas, for this kind of violence persists as long as it is invisible.

Finally, there’s no better way to empower women and change the social dynamic than to educate girls. Extremist groups blow up girls’ schools for the same reason we should support girls’ education: Over time, educated women can transform societies.

Some will say these abuses beyond our borders are none of our business. No one would say that who had been with me in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, where one study found that 43 percent of girls had their first sexual experience through coercion or rape (at an average age of 14). There I met a 4-year-old girl named Ida who had been raped so brutally that she needed surgery to repair internal injuries. Ida’s parents took her to the police station to report the rape.

The reaction of the police? They demanded a bribe to arrest the perpetrator, but it seemed his family had already paid a bigger bribe. So the police, in my presence, shouted at Ida’s parents, told them to go away and threatened to arrest them.

That’s not one girl’s problem, or one family’s problem. That’s the tip of a global human rights crisis.

Cosby Verdict Is Hailed a Breakthrough. Here’s Why It Was an Anomaly.

On Friday, one of Mr. Cosby’s publicists, appearing on “Good Morning America,” compared Mr. Cosby’s case to that of Emmett Till, a boy who was lynched in 1955 on suspicion that he had flirted with a white woman, who later denied that he had done so.

Ms. Constand broke her silence since the verdict on Twitter, saying, “Truth prevails.”

But truth has an arduous path.

Delayed reporting by victims makes the collection of physical evidence nearly impossible and can trigger the protection of statute of limitations laws. The police, prosecutors and juries may also question why they waited so long.

Alcohol or drugs are often involved in such cases, which can affect the memory, as can trauma. The presence of mind-altering substances can encourage juries to focus on the actions of the victim, instead of the accused.

Prosecutors may be reluctant to bring charges in a case that they think they cannot win. And even if a case reaches the courtroom, juries may accept that sex occurred but question whether it was consensual, asking for physical evidence of resistance or injury that may not exist.

Taken together, the standard to win a criminal conviction — beyond a reasonable doubt — is usually insurmountable, analysts say.

Ken Broda-Bahm, a jury expert with the law firm Holland & Hart, said that while jurors might believe the woman, they might not believe that prosecutors had met that high legal bar.

“On the other hand,” he said, “the public standard is, ‘What do you think happened?’ which jurors are specifically asked not to do.”

In New York, the Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating a claim by Paz de la Huerta, an actress, that Harvey Weinstein raped her on two different occasions in 2010, and an allegation that Mr. Weinstein forced an acting student, Lucia Evans, to perform oral sex during a business meeting at his office in 2004.

Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the district attorney, has been criticized for failing to act on an earlier complaint against Mr. Weinstein, and the police have said that they developed a strong criminal case based on Ms. de la Huerta’s account. But Mr. Vance has said his office is still gathering evidence.


Harvey Weinstein in 2017 at the Cannes Film Festival.

Yann Coatsaliou/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Earlier this month, Mr. Vance appointed to the investigation a new prosecutor who is known for winning convictions in cases with little physical evidence. But in 2011 the prosecutor also recommended throwing out a sexual assault indictment against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, after the reliability of the complainant, a hotel housekeeper, came into question.

In Los Angeles, prosecutors are investigating a claim that Mr. Weinstein raped a woman in a hotel room in 2013, according to the Los Angeles Times. The woman did not immediately report the crime, so no rape kit was taken, the paper reported. Mr. Weinstein is also under investigation for a sexual assault in London.

In all, Mr. Weinstein has been accused of rape, assault or sexual misconduct by more than 80 women. Representatives for Mr. Weinstein have denied the criminal allegations, saying that any sex acts were consensual.

Russell Simmons, a music industry executive, has also been accused of sexual assault and other crimes by at least 10 women. He has denied having sex that was not consensual.

Three women who said their assaults took place in New York — Tina Baker, Drew Dixon and Toni Salle, each of whom said Mr. Simmons raped them in incidents between 1988 and 1995 — said they spoke with a detective from the N.Y.P.D.’s cold case squad, a part of the Special Victims Unit. However, the detective cautioned them that their allegations could not be prosecuted because the incidents occurred outside the statute of limitations. The detective told them their accounts would be kept on file for potential use should a more recent case surface.

The statute of limitations for sexual assault in California — where a number of the allegations against Mr. Simmons and Mr. Weinstein have been made — had until recently been 10 years.

But in the wake of the allegations made against Mr. Cosby, California eliminated statute of limitations protections for sexual assaults in 2016. The new rule applies only to crimes committed after Jan. 1, 2017. New York abolished the statute of limitations on rape in 2006, but there is still a five-year limit for other types of felony sexual assault and two years for misdemeanors such as groping.

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced that Mr. Toback, 73, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by scores of women over decades, would not be charged in five separate investigations because the incidents were beyond the statute of limitations.

The Los Angeles Times has reported that hundreds of women had come forward to complain about Mr. Toback, who has denied wrongdoing.

Even without statute of limitations laws, an extended period between a crime and a report makes cases very difficult to prove, said Ms. Ashcroft, the former sex crimes prosecutor. And victims themselves are often regarded as unreliable, she said.

“Victims are vulnerable and because they are damaged, they often do not make good witnesses,” said Ms. Ashcroft. “The passage of time also often blurs their memories and brings inconsistencies. And in a trial in which there are only two people who know what happened, that is the cornerstone of who you believe.”

In assault cases lacking physical evidence or corroborating witnesses, Ms. Ashcroft said she would sometimes have to convince superiors to allow her to pursue charges.

Skeptical judges would pressure prosecutors to agree to plea deals “to get rid of pesky sex crime cases,” she said, or ask, “Why are you trying this case?”

“There are layers and layers of obstacles to bringing a sexual assault case,” Ms. Ashcroft said.

One critical difference between Mr. Cosby’s mistrial and his conviction was that in the second trial, Judge O’Neill allowed five women in addition to Ms. Constand to testify. Each said they believed Mr. Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted them. In the first trial, only one other accuser had been allowed to testify.

Mr. Cosby’s lawyers are likely to raise the decision to allow the additional testimony on appeal, because ordinarily evidence of prior bad behavior is not permitted.

“Even though it is the first celebrity #MeToo case, it is not typical,” said Deborah Tuerkheimer, a law professor at Northwestern University and former prosecutor.

The law, Ms. Tuerkheimer said, responds slowly to social change: “Unless and until #MeToo has penetrated to every member of society, when you choose 12 people at random, there’s just no telling what’s going to happen.”

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Bill Cosby Found Guilty of Sexual Assault After Years of Accusations

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele asked that Mr. Cosby’s $1 million bail be revoked, suggesting he had been convicted of a serious crime, owned a plane and could flee, prompting an angry outburst from Mr. Cosby, who shouted, “He doesn’t have a plane, you asshole.”

“Enough of that,” said Judge O’Neill who said he did not view Mr. Cosby as a flight risk and said he could be released on bail, but would have to surrender his passport and remain in his nearby home.

In recent years, Mr. Cosby, 80, had admitted to decades of philandering, and to giving quaaludes to women as part of an effort to have sex, smashing the image he had built as a moralizing public figure and the upstanding paterfamilias in the wildly popular 1980s and ’90s sitcom “The Cosby Show.” He did not testify in his own defense, avoiding a grilling about those admissions, but he and his lawyers have insisted that his encounter with Ms. Constand was part of a consensual affair, not an assault.

The verdict now marks the bottom of a fall as precipitous as any in show business history and leaves in limbo a large slice of American popular culture from Mr. Cosby’s six-decade career as a comedian and actor. For the last few years, his TV shows, films, and recorded stand-up performances, one-time broadcast staples, have largely been shunned and with the conviction, they are likely to remain so.

At his retrial in the same courthouse and before the same judge as last summer, a new defense team argued unsuccessfully that Ms. Constand, now 45, was a desperate “con artist” with financial problems who steadily worked her famous but lonely mark for a lucrative payday.


Andrea Constand exits the courtroom during a break in the Cosby retrial on Tuesday. She is the only woman whose complaint of sexual assault against Mr. Cosby resulted in a criminal trial.

Pool photo by Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The prosecution countered that it was Mr. Cosby who had been a deceiver, hiding behind his amiable image as America’s Dad to prey on women that he first incapacitated with intoxicants. During closing arguments Tuesday, a special prosecutor, Kristen Gibbons Feden, had told the jury: “She is not the con. He is.”

The defense’s star witness was a veteran academic adviser at Temple, Mr. Cosby’s alma mater, who said Ms. Constand had confided in her in 2004 that she could make money by falsely claiming that she had been molested by a prominent person. Mr. Cosby paid Ms. Constand $3.38 million in 2006 as part of the confidential financial settlement of a lawsuit she had brought against him after prosecutors had originally declined to bring charges.

But Ms. Constand said she had never spoken with the adviser and prosecutors rebutted the characterization of Ms. Constand as a schemer. Perhaps most damaging to Mr. Cosby, they were able to introduce testimony from five other women who told jurors they believed they too had been drugged and sexually assaulted by Mr. Cosby in separate incidents in the 1980s. The powerful drumbeat of accounts allowed prosecutors to argue that Ms. Constand’s assault was part of a signature pattern of predatory behavior.

The case was the first high-profile trial of the #MeToo era. Candidates were required during jury selection to provide assurances that the accusations against scores of other famous men would not affect their judgment of Mr. Cosby. Mr. Cosby’s lawyers referred to the changed atmosphere in American society, warning it and the introduction of accounts from multiple other accusers risked denying Mr. Cosby a fair trial by distracting jurors’ attention. “Mob rule is not due process,” Kathleen Bliss, one of Mr. Cosby’s lawyers told the jury.

Then she spent much of her closing argument urging the jury to discount the accounts of the five supporting witnesses. One was a failed starlet who slept around, she suggested, another a publicity seeker. “Questioning an accuser is not shaming a victim,” she told the jury.

The remarks inflamed Ms. Feden, the prosecutor, who called the attacks on the women the same sort of filthy and shameful criticism that kept some victims of sexual assault from ever coming forward.

When Ms. Constand came forward to testify, she took the stand as something of a proxy for the other women, more than 50, who have accused Mr. Cosby of abuses, often with details remarkably similar to Ms. Constand’s account. A few of those women attended the trial.


Kathleen Bliss, left, and Thomas A. Mesereau, two lawyers for Mr. Cosby, at the courthouse on Wednesday.

Tracie Van Auken/EPA, via Shutterstock

None of the other accusations had resulted in prosecution. In many of the cases, too much time had passed for criminal charges to be considered, so Ms. Constand’s case emerged as the only criminal test of Mr. Cosby’s guilt.

But Mr. Cosby is facing civil actions from several accusers, many of whom are suing him for defamation because, they say, he or his staff branded them as liars by dismissing their allegations as fabrications.

The suits have mostly been delayed, pending the outcome of the criminal trial and are likely to draw momentum from the guilty verdict.

The case largely turned on the credibility of Ms. Constand, who testified that in a visit in early 2004 to Mr. Cosby’s home near Philadelphia, when she was 30 and he was 66, Mr. Cosby gave her pills that left her immobile and drifting in and out of consciousness. He said he had only given her Benadryl.


Mr. Cosby and his wife, Camille, arriving Tuesday at the courthouse for closing arguments. It was the only day Mrs. Cosby appeared at the trial.

Tracie Van Auken/EPA, via Shutterstock

“I was kind of jolted awake and felt Mr. Cosby on the couch beside me, behind me, and my vagina was being penetrated quite forcefully, and I felt my breast being touched,” Ms. Constand said. “I was limp, and I could not fight him off.”

Adding weight to her accusations was the revelation that a decade earlier, in a deposition in Ms. Constand’s lawsuit against him, Mr. Cosby had admitted to having given women quaaludes in an effort to have sex with them.

But perhaps most damaging was the testimony by the five additional accusers, which took up several days of testimony. In Mr. Cosby’s first trial, last summer, only one other accuser had been allowed to add her voice to that of Ms. Constand’s. At the retrial, the accusers included the former model Janice Dickinson, who told jurors Mr. Cosby assaulted her in a Lake Tahoe hotel room in 1982, after giving her a pill to help with menstrual cramps. “Here was America’s Dad on top of me,” she told the courtroom, “a happily married man with five children, on top of me.”

The defense suggested in its cross-examination that Ms. Dickinson had made up the account and pointed to the fact that in her memoir she had recounted the meeting without making any mention of an assault. But Ms. Dickinson’s publisher testified that she had told her the rape account and it was only kept out of the book for legal reasons.

Another accuser, Chelan Lasha, told how Mr. Cosby invited her to his suite at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1986 when she was 17 to give her help with her modeling career. Mr. Cosby, she said, gave her a pill and liquor, and then assaulted her.

In court, Ms. Lasha, who was often in tears, called across the courtroom to the entertainer, who was sitting at the defense table.

“You remember,” she asked, “don’t you, Mr. Cosby?”


The jury deliberating the Cosby case inside the Montgomery County Courthouse was asked to decide on three counts of sexual assault.

Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters

As in the first trial, Mr. Cosby’s legal team insisted Ms. Constand was lying about a consensual, sexual relationship. But while his lawyers last summer had depicted Mr. Cosby as a flawed man, an unfaithful husband who shattered his fans’ illusions, but committed no crime, his lawyers this time focused on the financial struggles they said Ms. Constand was experiencing that led her to to extort money from a man who had been trying to help her with a career in broadcasting.

“You are going to be asking yourself during this trial, ‘What does she want from Bill Cosby?’ And you already know the answer: ‘Money, money and lots more money,’” his lead lawyer, Thomas A. Mesereau Jr., told the jurors as he opened his defense of Mr. Cosby. “She has a history of financial problems until she hits the jackpot with Bill Cosby.”

The defense emphasized inconsistencies in the version of events Ms. Constand had given the police, saying, for example, at one point that the assault had taken place in March, 2004, then later changing that January 2004.

Mr. Cosby’s lawyers cited her phone records to show she had stayed in touch with him after the encounter and they produced detailed travel itineraries and flight schedules in an effort to show that Mr. Cosby did not stay at his Philadelphia home during the period she said the assault occurred.

“He was lonely and troubled and he made a terrible mistake confiding in her what was going on in his life,” Mr. Mesereau said.

Under cross-examination, Ms. Constand explained the lapses in her accounts as innocent mistakes, and said her contacts with Mr. Cosby after the incident were mostly cursory, the unavoidable result of her job duties.

Mr. Steele told the jury that with the pills he gave her, Mr. Cosby took away Ms. Constand’s ability to consent, and that their later contacts were irrelevant.

When Ms. Constand’s mother called to confront Mr. Cosby about a year after the incident, the prosecution argued, the defendant’s apology, and his offer to pay for her schooling, therapy and a trip to Florida, were evidence he knew he had done something wrong.

Mr. Steels, the district attorney, also worked to rebut the defense claims. He said that Mr. Cosby, a member of Temple University’s board of directors and the university’s most famous alumnus, set his sights on Ms. Constand, an employee in the university’s athletic department who considered Mr. Cosby a mentor.

“This case is about trust,” Mr. Steele had told the jurors. “This case is about betrayal, and that betrayal leading to a sexual assault of a woman named Andrea Constand.”

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Harassment at WNYC Was Not ‘Systemic,’ Says Report


A report on the workplace culture at WNYC said the station’s head, Laura R. Walker, had not been aware of harassment and bullying.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

An investigation into the workplace culture of New York Public Radio and its flagship station WNYC found that incidents of bullying and harassment were not reported to senior managers, in part because of fear of reprisals, a lack of confidence in how reports would be handled, and the perception that the station’s stars were “untouchable.”

But the investigation did not find “systemic discrimination” that was known to, and tolerated by, senior management. The investigation also largely absolved Laura R. Walker, the president and chief executive of New York Public Radio, who acknowledged last year that she had “prioritized growth, and content and programming, over investment in some of the processes and people.”

Instead, the investigation focuses on the station’s human resources department and recommends steps familiar to many workplaces grappling with the #MeToo movement, such as adding training for managers and creating an anti-bullying policy.

“NYPR needs to build a level of confidence that it is intent on fostering and preserving a respectful work environment and that all employees — even ‘stars’ — are held to that standard, and that no one will suffer adverse consequences for alerting NYPR to inappropriate conduct,” the report says.

[Read the report here.]

The investigation was conducted by the law firm of Proskauer Rose at the behest of the station’s board of trustees and released Tuesday afternoon. The station was holding an all-staff meeting at its offices in Lower Manhattan to discuss it.

The issues at WNYC exploded into the open last year, when the writer Suki Kim described her experiences at the station, as well as those of other women, for New York magazine, writing that John Hockenberry, the former host of “The Takeaway,” had harassed her after her appearance as a guest. A subsequent probe conducted by the newsroom revealed additional cases, as well as management’s awareness of myriad problems with “The Takeaway.”

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The Times and The New Yorker Share Pulitzer Prize for Public Service


Megan Twohey, left, and Jodi Kantor at The New York Times on Monday after their articles detailing sexual harassment accusations against the film mogul Harvey Weinstein helped The Times win the Pulitzer Prize for public service.

Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine won the Pulitzer Prize for public service on Monday for their reporting on sexual harassment that ushered in a reckoning about the treatment of women by powerful men in the uppermost ranks of Hollywood, politics, media and technology.

Beginning with revelations in The Times about the Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, followed by reports about the film mogul Harvey Weinstein published by The Times and The New Yorker, the coverage set off a cascade of testimonials from women about abuse in the workplace, whether at a Beverly Hills hotel or a Ford Motor plant in the Midwest. By year’s end, what came to be known as the #MeToo movement had reshaped the modern conversation around gender and fairness.

At a time when President Trump regularly assails the news media, the Pulitzer board awarded its national reporting prize to The Times and The Washington Post, for coverage that unearthed possible ties between Russia and Mr. Trump’s inner circle. The dramatic story line continues to dominate Washington politics.

The Post also won the award for investigative reporting for its exposé of Roy S. Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, whose bid for higher office was upended after The Post uncovered that he had groped and harassed multiple women, one as young as 14. Columns on Mr. Moore’s candidacy, by John Archibald of the Alabama Media Group in Birmingham, Ala., won the commentary prize.

Magazines, which only recently became eligible for some Pulitzer categories, also took home top awards. GQ won the feature reporting category for a profile by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah of Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine African-American churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., in 2015. The art critic for New York magazine, Jerry Saltz, received the prize for criticism.

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