President Barack Obama has rejected the several calls from Americans to strip Bill Cosby of his President Medal of Freedom after several allegations that the iconic comedian allegedly had sex with women after drugging them.
Reacting to the public cry, Obama said there’s no precedent for revoking a medal. “We don’t have that mechanism,” the president said during a news conference.
While he would not comment on the specifics of ongoing criminal or civil cases, the president said rape is not tolerable.
“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,” the president said. “I think this country, any civilized country should have no tolerance for rape.”
PAVE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sexual assault prevention and survivor empowerment, started a petition on WhiteHouse.gov just last week urging the president to revoke Cosby’s presidential medal of freedom, which was bestowed upon him by President George W. Bush in 2009.
“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest award bestowed on civilians for their contributions to society. Bill Cosby does not deserve to be on the list of distinguished recipients,” the petition states. “We urge the administration to take the unprecedented action of revoking this award.”
A 2005 court filing released last week revealed Cosby admitted to obtaining prescription drugs with the intent of giving them to women whom he wanted to have sex with.