Oscars Expel Cosby And Polanski

Bill Cosby exits the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown Pa. on Saturday

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Thursday that it has expelled actor Bill Cosby and film director Roman Polanski from its membership in light of the sexual assault cases against both men. The board continued "to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy's values of respect for human dignity".

In a statement, Yale said: "The decision is based on a court record providing clear and convincing evidence of conduct that violates fundamental standards of decency shared by all members of the Yale community, conduct that was unknown to the board at the time the degree was awarded".

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Cosby, once the darling of American television, has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women. He faces the possibility of a maximum sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison.

The veteran 84-year-old director of "Rosemary's Baby" has for years been seeking to negotiate a deal in the case with United States authorities. Polanski also has other accusations of rape against him.

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The board will have the final say on whether to remove a member or not.

As many as 60 women came forward with allegations of this nature, but he was only found guilty of assaulting and drugging Andrea Constand in 2004, according to The Washington Post. The two others are producer Harvey Weinstein, who was booted in the wake of numerous sexual assault allegations a year ago, and an actor named Carmine Caridi, whom the Academy blamed for piracy in 2004 after he sent VHS screeners of movies to a friend, who allegedly posted them online.

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However, Polanski's most prominent victim, Samantha Geimer, has damned the Hollywood institution, saying "the Academy has no true honour, it's all just PR". Before then, the only person to be kicked out was the actor Carmine Caridi, best known for his role in The Godfather, after he shared a copyrighted movie screener with a friend who then uploaded it online.

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