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Bill Cosby planning lecture tour to educate young people on misbehaviour


Prosecutors have said Cosby will be retried on sexual assault charges (AP)

Prosecutors have said Cosby will be retried on sexual assault charges (AP)

Prosecutors have said Cosby will be retried on sexual assault charges (AP)

Bill Cosby will organise a series of lectures to help educate young people about problems their misbehaviour could create and other issues, a spokesman for the entertainer said.

Cosby is eager to get back to work following a deadlocked jury and mistrial in his sexual assault case, spokesman Andrew Wyatt told Birmingham, Alabama, TV station WBRC on Wednesday.

"We'll talk to young people. Because this is bigger than Bill Cosby. You know, this, this issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today," Mr Wyatt said.

"And they need to know what they're facing when they're hanging out and partying, when they're doing certain things they shouldn't be doing.

"And it also affects married men," Mr Wyatt said, without elaborating.

"Is it kind of a, 'Do as I say, not as I do' situation?" the reporter asked, but it was unclear if Mr Wyatt heard and responded to the question.

Prosecutors have said Cosby will be retried on sexual assault charges stemming from former Temple University worker Andrea Constand's allegations that he drugged and molested her in 2004. Cosby contends the encounter was consensual.

The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, an anti-sexual violence organisation known as RAINN, responded to Cosby's announced plans.

"It would be more useful if Mr Cosby would spend time talking with people about how not to commit sexual assault in the first place," RAINN spokeswoman Jodi Omear said in a statement.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Mr Wyatt expanded on his remarks.

He said that many civic organisations and churches have called asking that Cosby speak to young men and women about the judicial system and how it can be used for "personal agenda and political ambitions".

"They feel that the young men and women need to be aware that Mr Cosby was given a deal to never be criminally charged" in the Andrea Constand case, he said.

A meeting will be held in Birmingham in July, Mr Wyatt said.

Also taking part in the TV interview was Mr Wyatt's associate Ebonee Benson, who had read comments from Cosby's wife, Camille, slamming prosecutors after the trial's end last weekend in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

"Laws are changing," Ms Benson said. "The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended. So this is why people need to be educated on a brush against the shoulder, you know anything at this point can be considered sexual assault. And it's ... a good thing to be educated about the law."

Lecturing is not new for Cosby. In recent years, the comedian and actor became known for scolding fellow African-Americans for poor grammar, sloppy dress and not valuing education, critiques that drew criticism from some as elitist.

It also led indirectly to the reopening of the examination of his past.

In 2014, black stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress slammed Cosby on stage, calling him a self-righteous scold and adding: "You rape women, Bill Cosby."

Video of Mr Buress' remarks was widely viewed online, and a number of women came forward to share similar stories alleging sexual abuse by Cosby. Prosecutors ultimately reopened Ms Constand's case.

During the trial, Ms Constand said in evidence that Cosby drugged and molested her at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Cosby did not give evidence during the trial, but has said his contact with the former director of women's basketball operations at his alma mater, Temple University, was consensual.

A juror in Cosby's sexual assault trial said that some jurors were concerned that prosecutors waited 10 years to charge him, expressing suspicion that politics had played a role in the case.

The juror told The Associated Press that the panel was almost evenly split in its deliberations, with a similar number of jurors wanting to convict the 79-year-old entertainer as acquit him.