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


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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.

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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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In the #MeToo Era, France Struggles With Sexual Crimes Involving Minors


In most Western countries, under so-called statutory rape laws, sex with a minor under a certain age is considered rape because the minor is thought to be too young to consent. France has no such law; all rape judgments must be based on proof of either violence, force, surprise or lack of choice in a situation.

But in the #MeToo era, prevailing attitudes around gender equality and harassment are being challenged in this country, which has a famously libertine disposition toward sex. Mr. Macron has made clear that the position of women in society is a priority and among the many areas of French life he wants to transform. He has pointedly included more women in the ranks of power.

So his government is proposing a law that would make it easier for girls and boys under 15 to prove that they had been raped. Still, government officials have hesitated over this complex issue and are facing criticism that the proposed change does not do enough.

“The victim will still have to prove that she did not consent,” said Edouard Durand, a juvenile court judge in Bobigny, a suburb of Paris.

“We could have gone further,” he added. “It’s a disappointment.”

The proposed law would make it possible for minors under 15 who have intercourse to prove that an adult took advantage of them, that they did not consent and that therefore they were raped. It would also extend the statute of limitations for bringing rape charges to 30 years from 20.

France’s law prohibiting adults from having sexual contact with minors under 15 carries penalties of up to five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros, about $92,000. The new law would increase the penalty to 10 years in prison and a fine of 150,000 euros, about $184,000.

The legislation could be amended when it is debated in Parliament in mid-May.

The problems with how France prosecutes sexual violence involving minors go beyond the wording of any laws, jurists and legal experts say.

Rape charges can take as many as eight years or more to go to trial and are heard by juries, who tend to judge women and girls more harshly than do magistrates or judges who hear cases involving the lesser crimes of sexual contact and sexual assault.

And it is common to see the character of the girls or women (or in smaller numbers, boys) put on trial, rather than the actions of the men.

The result is that lawyers for rape victims who are minors often accept a lesser charge — like one of sexual contact or sexual assault that does not include rape — to avoid having the client further traumatized by having to testify before a jury and potentially seeing the attacker acquitted.

There is such frequent bias against the women and girls on the part of juries that convictions can be almost impossible, unless “you have a client who is as white as a goose,” said Ms. Durrieu Diebolt, the lawyer for Sarah, the 11-year-old in the Pontoise case. (The girl has been widely identified in the news media by the given name Sarah, but her full name has been withheld.)

From the start, many women say they face a lack of sympathy from the police. When a feminist organization calling itself Group F asked in an online survey for details of how the police treated complaints of sexual abuse, it got 500 responses in just the first three days. Women who reported rape said they were greeted with skepticism and rudeness and encouraged not to pursue their cases.

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Sandrine Parise-Heideiger, the lawyer for a man accused of having sex with an 11-year-old girl, spoke with reporters outside court in February.

Credit
Alain Jocard/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Another recent case that has also galvanized public opinion involved a 22-year-old man in Meaux, a town about 25 miles east of Paris, who left an 11-year-old girl pregnant after sex in a public park. She said the man had covered her mouth so that her protests could not be heard. The man denied the accusation and was acquitted.

Because so many cases are dropped or not pursued, it is difficult to determine the depths of the problem.

Of 4,120 complaints of rape made to the police by girls under 15, less than one in 10, or 396, were tried and resulted in sentences for rape, according to the National Observatory of Violence Done to Women.

The observatory, and a report by the French Senate, also note that among minors under 18, about 22 percent are assaulted sexually by a relative in an incestuous relationship or by a close friend. Cases involving incest can be particularly difficult for children to talk about, much less bring charges.

Sandrine Parise-Heideiger, the lawyer for the man accused of luring Sarah into the elevator in Pontoise and having sex with her, takes the view that sometimes a minor consents and then thinks the better of it, or sends mixed messages.

“The behavior of a 15-year-old adolescent five or 10 years ago, has moved,” she said, adding that now 10-year-olds behave like 15-year-olds.

“In 20 years of representing minors, I have seen a great deal of evolution in the physical development of young girls,” she added.

Many others disagree.

“One cannot think that a child can assent to a sexual act,” said Ernestine Ronai, a psychologist and former teacher.

Ms. Ronai is a member of the High Council on Equality Between Men and Women, a consultative body under the authority of the prime minister that provides an annual report on sexual violence and sexism in France. The government asked the group for recommendations of new standards for sex crime laws to keep minors safe.

The council wanted to make the new measure more like a statutory rape law, and set the age limit at 13, which would make it easier to include a presumption that there had been force and that a child was victimized.

The government chose 15 instead, which, while protecting more young people, makes it more difficult to prove any sex was non-consensual, experts said.

But the government argues that its new law better protects minors because it also more severely punishes the lesser crime of consensual sex.

“Our wish in doing this law is that the aggressor will be judged as a rapist, or that the judge can decide not to retain the rape charge, but in that case the adult will face a very high penalty of 10 years,” said Marlène Schiappa, the junior minister for gender equality.

However, lawyers who represent minors worry that in many cases assailants may still be let off because they can argue that the child consented, and therefore that the sexual encounter did not amount to rape.

In the case of Sarah, the defense lawyer, Ms. Parise-Heideiger, said that if, as expected, the case goes before a jury, she will have no choice but to challenge the girl’s contention that the sex was not consensual.

She says that the girl’s own answers to police will help the defense’s argument. In her account, the girl said: “I was curious; I knew what he wanted.”

Since the girl is a minor, no interviews are now being given to reporters. But her lawyer, Ms. Durrieu Diebolt, said the girl was naïve, sexually inexperienced and entrapped by an older man who had done time in prison. The defense lawyer is trying to sully the girl’s reputation, she said.

“She was frozen, terrified,” when she talked to the police, said Ms. Durrieu Diebolt, who also faulted the police for interviewing the girl in long, intimidating sessions with complex questions.

“Here we have a victim who immediately afterward calls her mother,” Ms. Durrieu Diebolt said. “If she had consented, she would have hidden it from her mother, she would not have needed to talk to her.”

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In the #MeToo Era, France Struggles With Sexual Crimes Involving Minors


In most Western countries, under so-called statutory rape laws, sex with a minor under a certain age is considered rape because the minor is thought to be too young to consent. France has no such law; all rape judgments must be based on proof of either violence, force, surprise or lack of choice in a situation.

But in the #MeToo era, prevailing attitudes around gender equality and harassment are being challenged in this country, which has a famously libertine disposition toward sex. Mr. Macron has made clear that the position of women in society is a priority and among the many areas of French life he wants to transform. He has pointedly included more women in the ranks of power.

So his government is proposing a law that would make it easier for girls and boys under 15 to prove that they had been raped. Still, government officials have hesitated over this complex issue and are facing criticism that the proposed change does not do enough.

“The victim will still have to prove that she did not consent,” said Edouard Durand, a juvenile court judge in Bobigny, a suburb of Paris.

“We could have gone further,” he added. “It’s a disappointment.”

The proposed law would make it possible for minors under 15 who have intercourse to prove that an adult took advantage of them, that they did not consent and that therefore they were raped. It would also extend the statute of limitations for bringing rape charges to 30 years from 20.

France’s law prohibiting adults from having sexual contact with minors under 15 carries penalties of up to five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros, about $92,000. The new law would increase the penalty to 10 years in prison and a fine of 150,000 euros, about $184,000.

The legislation could be amended when it is debated in Parliament in mid-May.

The problems with how France prosecutes sexual violence involving minors go beyond the wording of any laws, jurists and legal experts say.

Rape charges can take as many as eight years or more to go to trial and are heard by juries, who tend to judge women and girls more harshly than do magistrates or judges who hear cases involving the lesser crimes of sexual contact and sexual assault.

And it is common to see the character of the girls or women (or in smaller numbers, boys) put on trial, rather than the actions of the men.

The result is that lawyers for rape victims who are minors often accept a lesser charge — like one of sexual contact or sexual assault that does not include rape — to avoid having the client further traumatized by having to testify before a jury and potentially seeing the attacker acquitted.

There is such frequent bias against the women and girls on the part of juries that convictions can be almost impossible, unless “you have a client who is as white as a goose,” said Ms. Durrieu Diebolt, the lawyer for Sarah, the 11-year-old in the Pontoise case. (The girl has been widely identified in the news media by the given name Sarah, but her full name has been withheld.)

From the start, many women say they face a lack of sympathy from the police. When a feminist organization calling itself Group F asked in an online survey for details of how the police treated complaints of sexual abuse, it got 500 responses in just the first three days. Women who reported rape said they were greeted with skepticism and rudeness and encouraged not to pursue their cases.

Photo

Sandrine Parise-Heideiger, the lawyer for a man accused of having sex with an 11-year-old girl, spoke with reporters outside court in February.

Credit
Alain Jocard/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Another recent case that has also galvanized public opinion involved a 22-year-old man in Meaux, a town about 25 miles east of Paris, who left an 11-year-old girl pregnant after sex in a public park. She said the man had covered her mouth so that her protests could not be heard. The man denied the accusation and was acquitted.

Because so many cases are dropped or not pursued, it is difficult to determine the depths of the problem.

Of 4,120 complaints of rape made to the police by girls under 15, less than one in 10, or 396, were tried and resulted in sentences for rape, according to the National Observatory of Violence Done to Women.

The observatory, and a report by the French Senate, also note that among minors under 18, about 22 percent are assaulted sexually by a relative in an incestuous relationship or by a close friend. Cases involving incest can be particularly difficult for children to talk about, much less bring charges.

Sandrine Parise-Heideiger, the lawyer for the man accused of luring Sarah into the elevator in Pontoise and having sex with her, takes the view that sometimes a minor consents and then thinks the better of it, or sends mixed messages.

“The behavior of a 15-year-old adolescent five or 10 years ago, has moved,” she said, adding that now 10-year-olds behave like 15-year-olds.

“In 20 years of representing minors, I have seen a great deal of evolution in the physical development of young girls,” she added.

Many others disagree.

“One cannot think that a child can assent to a sexual act,” said Ernestine Ronai, a psychologist and former teacher.

Ms. Ronai is a member of the High Council on Equality Between Men and Women, a consultative body under the authority of the prime minister that provides an annual report on sexual violence and sexism in France. The government asked the group for recommendations of new standards for sex crime laws to keep minors safe.

The council wanted to make the new measure more like a statutory rape law, and set the age limit at 13, which would make it easier to include a presumption that there had been force and that a child was victimized.

The government chose 15 instead, which, while protecting more young people, makes it more difficult to prove any sex was non-consensual, experts said.

But the government argues that its new law better protects minors because it also more severely punishes the lesser crime of consensual sex.

“Our wish in doing this law is that the aggressor will be judged as a rapist, or that the judge can decide not to retain the rape charge, but in that case the adult will face a very high penalty of 10 years,” said Marlène Schiappa, the junior minister for gender equality.

However, lawyers who represent minors worry that in many cases assailants may still be let off because they can argue that the child consented, and therefore that the sexual encounter did not amount to rape.

In the case of Sarah, the defense lawyer, Ms. Parise-Heideiger, said that if, as expected, the case goes before a jury, she will have no choice but to challenge the girl’s contention that the sex was not consensual.

She says that the girl’s own answers to police will help the defense’s argument. In her account, the girl said: “I was curious; I knew what he wanted.”

Since the girl is a minor, no interviews are now being given to reporters. But her lawyer, Ms. Durrieu Diebolt, said the girl was naïve, sexually inexperienced and entrapped by an older man who had done time in prison. The defense lawyer is trying to sully the girl’s reputation, she said.

“She was frozen, terrified,” when she talked to the police, said Ms. Durrieu Diebolt, who also faulted the police for interviewing the girl in long, intimidating sessions with complex questions.

“Here we have a victim who immediately afterward calls her mother,” Ms. Durrieu Diebolt said. “If she had consented, she would have hidden it from her mother, she would not have needed to talk to her.”

Continue reading the main story

Bill Cosby’s Lawyer Calls Sex Assault Accuser a ‘Con Artist’


In the first trial, last summer, only one additional accuser was allowed to add her voice. That trial, also at the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, ended with a hung jury.

In an opening statement of close to an hour, Mr. Mesereau attacked the credibility of Ms. Constand, turning on its head the prosecution’s charge that Mr. Cosby was a celebrity stalking a much younger woman for sex. Instead, Mr. Mesereau said, Mr. Cosby was a foolish man who had made the mistake of telling her his troubles, including the death of his son, Ennis, who was murdered in 1997 in a failed robbery attempt.

Ms. Constand’s acceptance of his invitations and gifts during a period of friendship of several months were the acts of a calculating woman intent on insinuating herself into his life, the defense said.

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

The defense plans to call as a witness a Temple University academic adviser who, Mr. Mesereau said, would testify that Ms. Constand told her several years ago that she could make money by falsely claiming she had been molested by a prominent person. The adviser, Marguerite Jackson, 56, was not allowed to speak at the first trial after Ms. Constand testified that she did not know her. But the defense has since brought forward two former Temple colleagues of Ms. Constand who said she and Ms. Jackson did know each other.

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Ms. Constand says that Mr. Cosby sexually assaulted her in 2004 at his home outside Philadelphia after giving her three pills that left her incapacitated.

Credit
Pool photo by Lucas Jackson

Ms. Constand first reported an assault to the police in 2005, a year after her encounter with Mr. Cosby. When prosecutors declined to bring charges, she brought a lawsuit against him. Prosecutors in Montgomery County filed the current charges after reopening the investigation in 2015.

On Monday, the opening day of the trial, prosecutors revealed that Mr. Cosby had paid Ms. Constand $3.38 million as part of a confidential settlement of the lawsuit in 2006. The amount had never been disclosed publicly, but Mr. Cosby agreed to reveal it during pretrial discussions.

The defense argued that the large payment is by no means an admission of wrongdoing on Mr. Cosby’s part, but rather evidence of Ms. Constand’s financial incentive in pursuing charges against him, a perspective prosecutors vehemently reject.

A lawyer who represented Ms. Constand in the civil case, Dolores M. Troiani, rejected Mr. Mesereau’s characterization of her client, calling it a “disgrace” that the legal system permits such defenses which, she said, deter women from coming forward to report sexual assault.

“This is about one thing only,” Ms. Troiani said. “He gave her pills, she was incapable of consent, he sexually assaulted her, and he admitted it.”

As at the first trial, the defense on Tuesday told jurors about how Ms. Constand continued to have contact with Mr. Cosby after the night she said he assaulted her, including multiple phone calls and an occasion when she went with her family to see him perform in Canada.

Mr. Mesereau said that the defense had evidence that Ms. Constand had unpaid bills during her time at Temple, was struggling at her job and that they would produce emails showing she was running a “pyramid scheme” at the university. He did not elaborate.

More than 50 women have leveled accusations of some kind of sexual misconduct against Mr. Cosby in recent years, but Ms. Constand’s is the only case to result in criminal charges.

In many quarters the accusations have all but undone the entertainer’s image as America’s Dad. He faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Mr. Mesereau said the experience had been “brutal” for Mr. Cosby and he was glad to finally be able to get a chance for vindication.

“This is no longer a media sound bite,” Mr. Mesereau said. “This is a court of law. Finally we welcome the opportunity for the truth to get out. Finally Mr. Cosby has his day in court.”

Mr. Mesereau referred to the #MeToo movement in his statement, asserting that prosecutors were hoping that, “Maybe in the current climate you will not see the facts.” But he said he was confident the jurors would find Mr. Cosby not guilty.

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Bill Cosby Paid His Sex Assault Accuser $3.38 Million in Settlement


The prosecution’s case has also been significantly bolstered since the first trial last summer, which ended with a hung jury. Judge Steven T. O’Neill is allowing prosecutors to present accounts from five women who say Mr. Cosby tried to intoxicate them as part of a plan to sexually abuse them, accusations similar to Ms. Constand’s that the prosecution says demonstrate a signature pattern of assault. In the first trial only one additional accuser was allowed to add her voice.

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In his opening argument, Kevin R. Steele, the Montgomery County district attorney, told the jury that Mr. Cosby had paid Andrea Constand $3.38 million as part of a 2006 settlement of her lawsuit against him.

Credit
Lucas Jackson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“You will have an understanding of a common plan, scheme or design of the defendant,” Mr. Steele told the jurors Monday. “And when this happened with Andrea Constand, there was no mistake.”

One of the additional accusers who prosecutors plan to call is Janice Dickinson, the former supermodel, who said Mr. Cosby drugged and raped her in Lake Tahoe in 1982.

The testimony of Ms. Constand, 44, will still be central to the retrial — as it was in the first trial. The defense, which will present its opening statement Tuesday, will almost certainly question why she maintained contact with Mr. Cosby after the encounter and ask why she took a year to come forward to police, both issues raised at the first trial.

In an opening statement of more than an hour, Mr. Steele appeared determined to undercut any credibility issues, mentioning how Ms. Constand only sued Mr. Cosby after prosecutors more than a decade ago declined to bring charges. The current charges were brought after the investigation was reopened in 2015.

The prosecution had some of Mr. Cosby’s prior statements projected onto a screen, including his acknowledgment that on the night of their encounter he had given Ms. Constand three pills — “three friends” he called them — to help her relax without telling her what the pills were, as well as a later admission to her mother that he had digitally penetrated Ms. Constand. Mr. Cosby has said the pills were Benadryl and the sex was consensual.

The start of the proceedings had been delayed for several hours as Judge O’Neill reviewed a motion by Mr. Cosby’s lawyers to dismiss a juror who, they said, had told another prospective juror last week that he thought Mr. Cosby was guilty. Judge O’Neill decided the juror could remain, though he did not disclose his reasoning.

Mr. Cosby’s entry to the courthouse was briefly delayed in the morning by the protest of a topless woman, later identified as Nicolle Rochelle, a former actress who had appeared several times on “The Cosby Show.” She jumped over a crowd barrier outside the courthouse and yelled “Women’s lives matter” before being wrestled to the ground by courthouse deputies about ten yards in front of Mr. Cosby as he walked toward the building’s front doors.

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Nicolle Rochelle, a protester, was detained outside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.

Credit
Corey Perrine/Associated Press

Ms. Rochelle, 38, of Little Falls, N.J. had written on her torso the names of some of the women who have accused Mr. Cosby of assault. Mr. Cosby, wearing a dark suit and using a cane, was guided toward a side entrance instead.

In an interview after her arrest on disorderly conduct charges, Ms. Rochelle said she is a performing artist and activist who now lives in Paris.

“I wanted to get as close to him as possible without touching him,” she said. “It was a peaceful demonstration but I wanted him to feel uncomfortable.”

She had appeared on “The Cosby Show” in the early 1990s when she was 12 years old in a part as a friend of Mr. Cosby’s daughter on the show, Rudy. She said that nothing inappropriate had happened on the set with Mr. Cosby, whom she said she liked as a young actress.

But now she said she wanted to express the anger of the other women and had chosen to do it topless so as to use her body as “a political tool.”

“I was contesting the image of a woman’s body as constantly sexual,” she said.

About a dozen other protesters also demonstrated outside the courthouse, an indication of how Mr. Cosby’s profile has changed since he was one of America’s most beloved entertainers. His is the first high-profile sexual assault trial of the #MeToo era, and experts are watching to see what effect the eruption of accusations of harassment and assault against prominent men may have on the trial and on jurors’ attitudes.

The 12-person jury is made up of five women and seven men. One woman and one man are African-American. The panel will be sequestered for the trial, which is the only criminal case to arise from the many accusations made against Mr. Cosby by women, all of which Mr. Cosby has denied.

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‘I Kept Thinking of Antioch’: Long Before #MeToo, a Times Video Journalist Remembered a Form She Signed in 2004


Why did affirmative consent become a part of the culture at Antioch so long before it did anywhere else? Does it really change the way young people at the school have sex? This seemed like a good moment to pick up the story and find out.

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Antioch College students present their Sexual Offense Prevention Policy to the school for approval in 1990.

Credit
Antiochiana, Antioch College

The first-of-its-kind affirmative consent policy was written by students in 1990 as a response to campus rape. But the first thing anyone who was at Antioch in the ’90s wanted to talk to me about was the media mayhem. When The Associated Press ran an article on the policy with the headline “No huggy, no kissy without a ‘yes’ at Antioch College,” it ignited a cultural firestorm.

Articles about the college’s policy were printed in hundreds of newspapers around the world, including The New York Times. (Scott Sanders, Antioch’s on-campus historian, has the clippings meticulously cataloged in hand-labeled manila folders, which he let me spend an afternoon sifting through.) The story was featured on “Good Morning America” and “Eye to Eye With Connie Chung,” among other programs. Charlie Rose and Dr. Ruth talked about it. Amy Thomson, who was a first-year student when the news media descended, told me she remembered photographers pulling open dorm room doors and snapping pictures, trying to catch unsuspecting students in sexual acts. As Christelle Evans, an architect of the policy who is featured in the video, put it, “This went viral before viral was even a thing.”

When I read the pun-filled headlines, watched the joking attitude of the TV news coverage (reporter: “How do you have sex at Antioch College? Very carefully”) and tracked down a “Saturday Night Live” skit in which the characters are Antioch students on a game show called “Is It Date Rape?” I felt like I was looking at relics from another age — particularly in light of the serious stories of sexual harassment and assault that have been reported by the news media in recent months.

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(L to R) Bethany Saltman, Juliet Brown and Christelle Evans as students in 1990 (above) and today (below).

Credit
1990 photo: Antiochiana, Antioch College; current photos: Kassie Bracken/The New York Times

I was expecting the women who wrote the policy to talk about vindication (“people are finally seeing it my way!”) at a moment when the thoughts they expressed more than 25 years ago around sex seem prescient. But the story they told me — of trying to change the world as young people and being laughed at, of the humiliation and shame some of them still hold onto from that experience — was much more complicated.

On a basic level, what the women in the video were trying to do at Antioch and what people are still trying to do at Antioch is set up the expectation that everyone in the community will talk about sex — before and during — so that everyone involved wants what is happening to be happening. It’s also about being prompted to think enough about what you want sexually to be able to communicate it.

Let’s be real: Asking someone for consent at every stage of sexual activity sounds awkward and embarrassing. But from what I observed at Antioch, curbing that embarrassment has become a community effort.

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Class of 2019 Antioch students react during a workshop on consent at their first-year orientation in 2015.

Credit
Samantha Stark/The New York Times

All the current students I followed up with for the video told me that being sexual with an Antioch student is different from being sexual with someone else. They spoke of a common language everyone is taught beginning at orientation, so that when one student starts asking questions of another student in the midst of sexual activity, it doesn’t seem so out there.

But what is it like to be an 18-year-old and have the expectation set that you will talk during sex? I, for one, have never been part of a community with that expectation. Spending time at Antioch’s orientation, I thought about how that might change your sexual interactions for the rest of your life.

My co-producer Kassie Bracken and I broached this question with Bethany Saltman, one of the architects of the policy who is featured in the video, and we ended up having a conversation not about what it means to ask “Do you want this?” but about what it means to say “yes.”

“It can be really hard to say yes,” Ms. Saltman said. “You have to be so brazenly wanting sex to say yes.”

In a culture that teaches women in particular not to want sex too much, to be able to say: “Yes, I want you to do that to me! Yes, I want to do that to you!” is exciting, she argued, “and that has been totally, totally misunderstood.”

The requirement of signing the Sexual Offense Prevention Policy before spending the night on campus still exists at the school, and students told me they actually volunteer to stand at the doors of parties and hand out the policy to off-campus attendees. It makes me wonder if the memory of signing that form will pop into the heads of those young visitors when they’re in their 30s, as it still does into mine.

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Bill Cosby Returns to Court. Here’s Why His Retrial Is No Repeat.


The one that’s attracted most attention is Marguerite Jackson, 56, a Temple University academic adviser who says that Ms. Constand, who worked on the support staff for the women’s basketball team, once told her she could make money by falsely claiming that she had been molested by a prominent person.

Judge O’Neill blocked Ms. Jackson’s testimony at the first trial after Ms. Constand said that she did not know her. But the judge allowed her testimony this time, and Mr. Cosby’s lawyers are expected to use her account to portray Ms. Constand as someone with a premeditated plan to siphon money from Mr. Cosby.

Prosecutors have already questioned Ms. Jackson’s credibility and can be expected to continue that track when she testifies.

But another area of concern for them is likely to be the defense’s assertions that Ms. Constand misled the court during the first trial when she said she did not know Ms. Jackson. The defense has already brought forward two women who worked for Temple who say Ms. Constand and Ms. Jackson did know each other.

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Thomas Mesereau, Jr., left, and Kathleen Bliss, the lawyers who are representing Mr. Cosby in this trial.

Credit
Tracie Van Auken/EPA, via Shutterstock

A new defense team — and a new style

Last time out Mr. Cosby’s main lawyer was a Philadelphia courthouse veteran, Brian J. McMonagle, who had served as a prosecutor and knew the local people and the processes well. This time out, Mr. Cosby has hired more of an outsider to lead his defense: Thomas A. Mesereau Jr., a high profile criminal defense veteran who helped Michael Jackson win acquittal in his 2005 child molesting trial.

Mr. Mesereau, with his white shoulder-length hair, will be a distinctive figure as the case unfolds. His team has already demonstrated his aggressiveness with its move to have Judge O’Neill recuse himself because his wife has been an active supporter of sexual assault victims. Judge O’Neill rejected the motion.

The jury will not hear why prosecutors first declined the case

One part of the defense case during the first trial was an effort to let the jury know that in 2005, when Ms. Constand first went to the police, the district attorney decided not to bring charges. The news release by the former district attorney, Bruce L. Castor Jr., played a big role at the first trial. But his opinions about the evidence and why he decided against charges won’t be heard this time around, Judge O’Neill decided.

Jurors will hear there was a civil suit, and a settlement

After Mr. Castor declined to bring charges, Ms. Constand sued Mr. Cosby in 2005. The case was settled confidentially in 2006 with a financial payment made by Mr. Cosby to Ms. Constand.

At the first trial, references to the civil case were barred. This time, Mr. Cosby has lifted his objections, and jurors can hear more about the lawsuit, including the payment amount.

Each side is expected to try to use the settlement in their favor: the defense team arguing that it supports their view of Ms. Constand as a money seeker, the prosecution suggesting that the payment must reflect some kind of admission by Mr. Cosby that he indeed did something wrong.

One part of the civil suit was allowed in last time around: Mr. Cosby’s deposition testimony in which he admitted giving quaaludes to women for consensual sex. Judge O’Neill has yet to rule whether he will allow the testimony to be admitted in the retrial.

The jury is local

Last time, the jury was drawn from Pittsburgh and bused 300 miles to the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., after Mr. Cosby said he worried that all the pretrial publicity had affected potential jurors in the local area. This time, however, he has made no objections, and all jurors come from Montgomery County. As before, they will be sequestered during the trial.

The 12-person jury is made up of five women and seven men. One woman and one man are African-American, the same makeup as the jury for the first trial.

Photo

Protestors outside the Montgomery County Courthouse this month.

Credit
Mark Makela/Getty Images

The #MeToo movement

Perhaps nothing is as different from one trial to the next as the atmosphere in which it is unfolding. The Cosby case will be the first high-profile sex abuse trial to test what effect, if any, the #MeToo movement has on jurors.

Some experts think it may give jurors a greater willingness to believe people who come forward with accusations of sexual assault.

At least one juror in the first trial reported some problems with Ms. Constand’s credibility and had a question about why the many women who accused Mr. Cosby did not come forward sooner.

The entertainer’s lawyers, however, say they are worried that the barrage of publicity surrounding other bad-behaving men will lead jurors to lump Mr. Cosby in with the others, making it tougher for him to receive a fair trial.

The length of the trial

This will not be a quick trial like the first, during which prosecutors and defense lawyers put forth their arguments and examined witnesses in six days. The jurors deliberated for a further 52 hours before admitting they could not reach a unanimous verdict. The retrial is likely to last as long as a month, according to Judge O’Neill.

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Bill Cosby Returns to Court. Here’s Why His Retrial Is No Repeat.


The one that’s attracted most attention is Marguerite Jackson, 56, a Temple University academic adviser who says that Ms. Constand, who worked on the support staff for the women’s basketball team, once told her she could make money by falsely claiming that she had been molested by a prominent person.

Judge O’Neill blocked Ms. Jackson’s testimony at the first trial after Ms. Constand said that she did not know her. But the judge allowed her testimony this time, and Mr. Cosby’s lawyers are expected to use her account to portray Ms. Constand as someone with a premeditated plan to siphon money from Mr. Cosby.

Prosecutors have already questioned Ms. Jackson’s credibility and can be expected to continue that track when she testifies.

But another area of concern for them is likely to be the defense’s assertions that Ms. Constand misled the court during the first trial when she said she did not know Ms. Jackson. The defense has already brought forward two women who worked for Temple who say Ms. Constand and Ms. Jackson did know each other.

Photo

Thomas Mesereau, Jr., left, and Kathleen Bliss, the lawyers who are representing Mr. Cosby in this trial.

Credit
Tracie Van Auken/EPA, via Shutterstock

A new defense team — and a new style

Last time out Mr. Cosby’s main lawyer was a Philadelphia courthouse veteran, Brian J. McMonagle, who had served as a prosecutor and knew the local people and the processes well. This time out, Mr. Cosby has hired more of an outsider to lead his defense: Thomas A. Mesereau Jr., a high profile criminal defense veteran who helped Michael Jackson win acquittal in his 2005 child molesting trial.

Mr. Mesereau, with his white shoulder-length hair, will be a distinctive figure as the case unfolds. His team has already demonstrated his aggressiveness with its move to have Judge O’Neill recuse himself because his wife has been an active supporter of sexual assault victims. Judge O’Neill rejected the motion.

The jury will not hear why prosecutors first declined the case

One part of the defense case during the first trial was an effort to let the jury know that in 2005, when Ms. Constand first went to the police, the district attorney decided not to bring charges. The news release by the former district attorney, Bruce L. Castor Jr., played a big role at the first trial. But his opinions about the evidence and why he decided against charges won’t be heard this time around, Judge O’Neill decided.

Jurors will hear there was a civil suit, and a settlement

After Mr. Castor declined to bring charges, Ms. Constand sued Mr. Cosby in 2005. The case was settled confidentially in 2006 with a financial payment made by Mr. Cosby to Ms. Constand.

At the first trial, references to the civil case were barred. This time, Mr. Cosby has lifted his objections, and jurors can hear more about the lawsuit, including the payment amount.

Each side is expected to try to use the settlement in their favor: the defense team arguing that it supports their view of Ms. Constand as a money seeker, the prosecution suggesting that the payment must reflect some kind of admission by Mr. Cosby that he indeed did something wrong.

One part of the civil suit was allowed in last time around: Mr. Cosby’s deposition testimony in which he admitted giving quaaludes to women for consensual sex. Judge O’Neill has yet to rule whether he will allow the testimony to be admitted in the retrial.

The jury is local

Last time, the jury was drawn from Pittsburgh and bused 300 miles to the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., after Mr. Cosby said he worried that all the pretrial publicity had affected potential jurors in the local area. This time, however, he has made no objections, and all jurors come from Montgomery County. As before, they will be sequestered during the trial.

The 12-person jury is made up of five women and seven men. One woman and one man are African-American, the same makeup as the jury for the first trial.

Photo

Protestors outside the Montgomery County Courthouse this month.

Credit
Mark Makela/Getty Images

The #MeToo movement

Perhaps nothing is as different from one trial to the next as the atmosphere in which it is unfolding. The Cosby case will be the first high-profile sex abuse trial to test what effect, if any, the #MeToo movement has on jurors.

Some experts think it may give jurors a greater willingness to believe people who come forward with accusations of sexual assault.

At least one juror in the first trial reported some problems with Ms. Constand’s credibility and had a question about why the many women who accused Mr. Cosby did not come forward sooner.

The entertainer’s lawyers, however, say they are worried that the barrage of publicity surrounding other bad-behaving men will lead jurors to lump Mr. Cosby in with the others, making it tougher for him to receive a fair trial.

The length of the trial

This will not be a quick trial like the first, during which prosecutors and defense lawyers put forth their arguments and examined witnesses in six days. The jurors deliberated for a further 52 hours before admitting they could not reach a unanimous verdict. The retrial is likely to last as long as a month, according to Judge O’Neill.

Continue reading the main story

Women Say Richard Meier’s Conduct Was Widely Known Yet Went Unchecked


Not long after she joined Richard Meier’s architecture firm in 1989, Karin Bruckner was working at the office one Sunday, she said, when Mr. Meier came up beside her at a copy machine and started rubbing his body up and down against hers.

“I just stood there and froze,” Ms. Bruckner said. “‘This is not happening’ — that’s the first thing you think about — ‘He’s not doing this right now, I’m sure he’s not doing this.’”

She later confided to John Eisler, a senior associate, about what had occurred, and Mr. Eisler was sympathetic.

“It’s not something that was a secret,” he said in a recent interview about Mr. Meier’s conduct. But Mr. Eisler, who spent 20 years at the firm, said he did not confront Mr. Meier after hearing from Ms. Bruckner.

“I am sorry,” he said, “that I did not.”

After a report last month by The New York Times detailing a pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Meier, more women have come forward to share their own upsetting encounters with him. But in recounting such experiences, these women said they had also been disturbed by a sense of helplessness that pervaded the firm. Mr. Meier’s behavior was common knowledge, they said, but no one seemed to have the power to stop it.

Over the last six months, a number of fields have been forced to reckon with revelations regarding powerful men who harassed or assaulted underlinings, some for many years, without being stopped by their companies or organizations.

At Richard Meier & Partners Architects, there was no one more powerful than Mr. Meier, a world-famous architect whose firm depended on him for its prestige and success. It was years before #MeToo; protesting harassment was far more perilous.

Ms. Bruckner said she did not fault Mr. Eisler for his silence.

“I don’t think he felt he had any power to do anything about it,” said Ms. Bruckner, who worked at the firm until 1992, when she left to work for the architect Philip Johnson. She said people in the office were too afraid of what would happen to the firm, and their jobs, should Mr. Meier’s name be sullied.

“It’s behavior that goes on for decades and never changes,” she said. “‘We don’t go up against the bad guy because it will have a domino effect; if he falls down, everybody else falls down.’”

Following the initial Times report, which involved five women, Mr. Meier, 83, said that “while our recollections may differ, I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my behavior.” He said he would take a six-month leave from his firm.

Four more women have since come forward to share their experiences concerning Mr. Meier: Ms. Bruckner; Eileen Delgado, a former office manager; Lucy Nathanson, Mr. Meier’s former personal assistant; and Liz Lee, who worked as the communications coordinator.

Through a spokesman, Mr. Meier and his partners declined to be interviewed about the new accusations but issued this statement: “The allegations involving Richard Meier, the most recent of which were nearly a decade old, do not reflect the ethos and culture of the firm, and it would be irresponsible to allow these personal allegations to tarnish the company.”

It is unclear to what extent executives at the firm, including Mr. Meier’s partners, were aware of the sexual advances women are now publicly describing. Most of the women said they were too afraid for their jobs to lodge formal complaints with the management.

But some women did, and the firm appears to have reached at least two settlements. Ms. Delgado said she received about $25,000 in 1992 after Mr. Meier threw himself on top of her.

As reported earlier, Alexis Zamlich received $150,000 in 2009 after Mr. Meier had exposed himself to her, and another employee — Laura Trimble Elbogen — reported that Mr. Meier had asked her to undress, accounts that have been confirmed by the firm’s former chief operating officer.

All three episodes were said to have occurred in Mr. Meier’s Upper East Side apartment.

The firm has declined to discuss any settlements, but it said that after the two 2009 incidents, it instituted its first sexual harassment training program and updated its sexual harassment policy, which was put in the company handbook in 1993. No women have come forward to report negative experiences at the firm from after 2009.

Ms. Delgado, who worked as the office manager for several months in 1991 and 1992, said that Mr. Meier had asked her to work at his apartment, where he gave her a glass of wine and sat beside her on the sofa. “All of a sudden, I was thrust back and hit my head on a table,” Ms. Delgado said. “This man was on top of me, his tongue was down my throat, and he put my hand on his penis.”

The next day at the office, Ms. Delgado told the bookkeeper, Francina Foskey, who she said responded, “Oh, God, you, too?,” and then proceeded to spin through a Rolodex, pointing to the names of women who had complained to her about Meier’s sexual overtures. “She said, ‘Her, her, her, her,’ and as she’s turning them, we’re counting,” Ms. Delgado said. (Ms. Foskey died in 1997.)

Ms. Delgado said she got up the courage to hire a lawyer and settled with the firm under a nondisclosure agreement. Mr. Meier’s two other partners at the time were Robert Gatje and Thomas Phifer.

Photo

The architect Richard Meier. He recently issued a statement, saying, in part, “I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my behavior.”

Credit
George Etheredge for The New York Times

Mr. Gatje, interviewed a short time before his death, said that he wound up suing the firm himself but would not say for what because he was bound by a nondisclosure agreement. Asked about the allegations of sexual harassment, Mr. Gatje said: “That was 25 years ago. Things were a lot different back then.”

Mr. Phifer said that he never received a complaint of sexual harassment but that he had his own problems with Mr. Meier.

“What did happen is an enormous amount of verbal abuse, which I encountered myself, as did the rest of the office,” he said. “It’s the reason I left.”

Indeed, the conduct employees objected to extended beyond sexual advances. Former workers said that Mr. Meier — a winner of the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s top award, and the designer of notable buildings like the Getty Center in Los Angeles — ruled like a despot. They said he was loath to bring on partners, publicly berated even senior employees, and moved through the office as a brooding, bullying presence who inspired fear and deference.

Adam Eli Clem, who worked as an assistant archivist from 1994 to 1996, said Mr. Meier’s “toxic” behavior prompted “a kind of underground in the office that functioned to warn people about what they could expect.”

This was particularly true for women, who knew to wait for one another at the end of the day to avoid leaving a female colleague alone with Mr. Meier. Despite such efforts, some women said they were nevertheless asked by Mr. Meier to work at his apartment.

One was Ms. Nathanson, Mr. Meier’s personal assistant in 1995, who said he put his hands on her shoulders while showing her a book of vintage erotica.

“I felt trapped in my chair,” she said. “I felt my heart beating faster and faster and faster. I closed the book and pushed it away. I continued to work, but it was difficult to work.”

When she got her coat to leave, “he came up behind me, put his hands over my head on the wall and pressed his body into me with an erection,” Ms. Nathanson said. “The elevator came, I got in and left. I collapsed in the lobby in a chair and started to cry.”

Despite what appeared to her to be a general knowledge at the firm about Mr. Meier’s advances, Ms. Nathanson said, nothing changed.

“People would hold you in your arms and weep with you, but they wouldn’t talk to the boss,” she said. “They did not want to lose their jobs.”

Just three weeks later, Ms. Nathanson said, she lost her own job, in what Mr. Meier described to her as a “restructuring.”

One former partner, Gunter R. Standke, who worked there for 12 years until the early 1990s, said he had been aware that Mr. Meier was attracted to young women and that Mr. Meier would sometimes approach them at their desks in the evening and ask them to leave with him. But Mr. Standke said that none of the women had ever complained to him and that he was too busy to investigate what might be happening after hours.

“I had all the European projects,” he said. “I had no time to watch what Mr. Meier was doing.”

The firm, in its statement, said its renown stemmed not only from “brilliant architectural design and execution” but also “an environment that respects a diverse, motivated staff.” It said that the average tenure of its employees — nearly 50 percent of whom are women — is 13 years, “a testament to the positive workplace.”

While most of the women interviewed said they did not tell company officials what had happened to them, they did tell co-workers.

Liz Lee, who worked as the communications coordinator from 2002 to 2004, said she was once called to Mr. Meier’s apartment, ostensibly to inventory his art collection.

When she walked in the door, Ms. Lee said, Mr. Meier was naked. “I did not feel like I could just leave,” she said. He later put his hand on her buttocks, she said, while showing her his collages.

When Ms. Lee told colleagues, she said, they were not surprised. “They said, ‘Richard is an abusive person,’” she said, “‘but he’s the boss.’”

Ms. Bruckner said that she, too, told other women at the firm about what had happened to her at the copy machine.

“It turned out that everybody had a story,’” she said. “They all said, ‘Management doesn’t want to hear about it, and the best thing is to just move on.’”

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Evan Rachel Wood Turns Her Trauma Into Good. On ‘Westworld’ and in Life.


Twenty-four hours later, Ms. Wood was in Los Angeles, about to perform at a touring Bowie tribute. She has a lightning bolt tattoo, from Bowie’s “Aladdin Sane” album cover, and songs like “Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide” were her beacon. “I used to just put that on when I was at my lowest points and just wait for him to scream, ‘You’re not alone!’ And that would get me through another night,” she said.

When she opened the lyric page for that song, onstage at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, her hand trembled. The words looked like symbols — “like I couldn’t even read,” she said. “Everything went white. And I thought, ‘Oh boy. Breathe, girl, breathe.’” In videos from the show, you can see her hesitate and back off, then regain her momentum. She finished the number with shattering intensity.

“Evan is a powerhouse,” said her friend Linda Perry (4 Non Blondes, Pink’s “Get the Party Started”), the vocalist, songwriter and producer, who recommended her for the Bowie gig. “What I like about her is, she’s not afraid to be vulnerable, and that to me is an extremely powerful position to be in. She stands right there with her feet on the ground and her arms open, saying, This is who I am, this is how I’m going to be, and this is how I’m going to walk through life. Take it or leave it.”

In Ms. Wood’s telling, that position is hard won. The daughter of two actors from Raleigh, N.C., where her father runs a community theater, she began performing early, and moved to Los Angeles with her mother, an acting coach, after her parents split when she was 9. A steady career followed, but looking back, she said: “I didn’t feel like I had proper training for the world. I lived my whole life asking, ‘What do you want me to do and who do you want me to be?’ I was so insecure and didn’t feel worthy of much.” As a teenager, she began a much-ogled relationship with Marilyn Manson, the older goth rocker, to whom she was briefly engaged.

Only later in her 20s, she said, and especially after she became a mother, did she find her voice. The 2016 election also impelled her to act, to set an example for her son.

In between Seasons 1 and 2 of “Westworld,” Ms. Wood filmed an indie drama, “Allure,” out now, in which she plays the gaslighting abuser of a teenage girl. It was not fun to play, she said, but a painful story she felt needed to be told. “If you’re going to be famous, for me it has to mean something, or be used for something, because otherwise it just freaks me out,” she said.

Photo

In the recent indie film “Allure,” Ms. Wood plays the gaslighting abuser of a teenage girl. It was not a part she enjoyed, she said, but a painful story she felt needed to be told.

Credit
Samuel Goldwyn Films

The playlist we’d been listening to all day — her soundtrack for the revolution — is called “Invincible,” she said. In a flannel shirt, dark jeans and cowboy boots embossed with stars, she was unguarded and casual, peppering the conversation with “Dude!” and the click, every now and then, of a fidget cube, to channel her energy. Her house is cozy but feels half-lived in — she’s still in Los Angeles often. “Westworld” shoots in the Utah desert; to lighten the mood on set, she and her co-star James Marsden, as a “host” gunfighter, run their lines as Veronica Corningstone and Ron Burgundy, from “Anchorman.” (She puts on her coaching voice; he’s dense. It works.)

But Dolores’s transformation, in Season 2, left Ms. Wood unnerved.

“I’ve worked for a very long time to not be angry and vengeful,” she said, “so it was hard to take pleasure in that, even though I knew that the character had definitely earned it.”

Ms. Wood’s mission is always to turn her trauma into some other force. Before she went to Congress, she had her aura read at a Nashville shop. It told her some of her energy was blocked, that she needed to get something out. Now, a week afterward, we went back, to see if anything had changed.

She was still glowing lavender — “wonderful storytellers, writers and artists,” the description said. “They have the talent to visualize and describe magical, mystical worlds.” But where before her emotional chart looked like a jagged mountain range, now it was flat, calm. “Speaking your truth!” she said.

Her hope was that — especially post #MeToo — “Westworld” would do for others what Dolores did for her: help them to feel powerful, and be heard.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear,” she said.

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