Obama Addresses Rape In Light of Bill Cosby Controversy

| by Nathaly Pesantez

In the midst of several rape allegations against Bill Cosby, President Obama was asked about the 2002 Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to him at a White House press conference on Wednesday.

"There's no precedent for revoking a medal," Obama said. "We don't have that mechanism."

While refraining from commenting on the allegations against Cosby, he did take the opportunity to address rape.

"If you give a woman--or a man, for that matter--without his or her knowledge a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that's rape," Obama stated.

He added: "This country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape."

PAVE, a nonprofit that works to prevent sexual assault, filed a petition on to revoke the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Cosby. As of July 15, over 11,000 signatures have been collected, and at least 100,000 signatures are needed for the White House to officially respond to it.

More than twenty women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, The Guardian reported. According to 2005 court documents from a lawsuit brought against Cosby, he admitted to obtaining prescription Quaaludes, intending to use them on women he wanted to have sex with, CNN reported. However, he did not admit to drugging his accusers.

In early July, the Los Angeles Police Department announced that it opened an investigation into Cosby, according to ABC News.

Sources: C-SPAN, CNN, ABC News, The Guardian,

Photo Credit: C-SPAN Screenshot