Bill Cosby Charged with 2004 Sexual Assault01-Jan-2016
His name used to be synonymous with the television father-figure Dr. Cliff Huxtable, but the name Bill Cosby quickly became associated with quaaludes and rape after dozens of accusers came forward accusing him of sexual assaults spanning nearly 50 years. Most of the allegations against Cosby could not be prosecuted, falling well outside of the statute of limitations. However, after new evidence came to light in a 2004 sexual assault case, Bill Cosby has finally been charged.
Cosby, 78, was arrested on December 30, shortly before the 12-year statute of limitations would expire in the sexual assault case involving Andrea Constadt, a Temple University basketball coach who says her mentor gave her "herbal" medications, seeking to incapacitate her and sexually assault her. The district attorney declined to prosecute in 2005, citing insufficient evidence. Constadt settled a civil lawsuit with Cosby in 2006.
Prosecutors in Pennsylvania say that new evidence was revealed when court documents in the civil case were unsealed in July. They say that Cosby's admission that he gave prescription drugs to women in order to facilitate sex, coupled with his conflicting statements about what drugs he gave to Constadt, led them to believe the woman was sexually assaulted, rather than involved in a consensual sexual encounter, as Cosby maintains.
While Cosby says a sexual relationship was consensual, Constadt says that she knew Cosby was interested in her romantically, but that she had twice rejected his advances prior to the alleged sexual assault.
In that instance, Constadt says she told Cosby that she was feeling emotionally drained. He gave her wine and allegedly provided her with pills he told her were herbal supplements and urged her to take them. During the lawsuit, he testified that the pills he gave her were three half-pills of Benadryl. He allegedly told Constadt's mother that he could not remember what he gave her.
When Constadt was unable to move as a result of the effects of the pills and alcohol, Cosby allegedly assaulted her.
According to Montgomery County (PA) first assistant district attorney Kevin Steele, "The evidence is strong and sufficient to proceed. . . . A person in that state cannot give consent."
Read the probable cause affidavit here.
Cosby denies the allegations. His attorneys issued a statement saying that they will fight the charges:
“Make no mistake, we intend to mount a vigorous defense against this unjustified charge and we expect that Mr. Cosby will be exonerated by a court of law."
Cosby is charged with aggravated indecent assault, a felony which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.He was arrested and held on $1 million bond, but was released after posting bond and forfeiting his passport.
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