Bill Cosby has been accused of a range of despicable acts, including drugging women and then “having his way” with them. Some women say he threatened them afterwards and told them not to tell. Up until today, he had not actually been charged with any crime since many of the accusations dated back as far as the 1970s and had exceeded the statute of limitations.
According to huffingtonpost.com:
A prosecutor in Pennsylvania announced criminal charges against Bill Cosby on Wednesday.
Cosby has been charged with aggravated indecent assault, according to Kevin Steele of the Montgomery County district attorney’s office.
While Steele did not mention the victim by name, The Associated Press reported that the charges relate to the alleged drugging and sexual assault of Andrea Constand in 2004.
Cosby, 78, appeared briefly on Wednesday afternoon for his arraignment. Bail was set at $1 million and Cosby was ordered to surrender his passport. The hearing took about 13 minutes, and when Cosby re-emerged from the Elkins Park courthouse, he did not speak to reporters before leaving in a black SUV.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 14.
After the arraignment, Cosby went to a nearby police station where officers reportedly took his fingerprints and a booking photo. Cosby was not taken into custody and departed in the SUV.
Though the accusations are not new, Steele said the case was reopened after authorities saw evidence in previously sealed court documents and heard of allegations against Cosby from other women.
“Reopening this case was not a question. Rather, reopening this case was our duty,” Steele said.
The charges were brought against Cosby just days before a 12-year statute of limitations ran out. Attorneys for Constand said Wednesday that they had “the utmost confidence” in the prosecutor’s office.
More than 50 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual assault and unwanted advances, but these are the first criminal charges filed against him.
In 2005, Constand became one of the first women to publicly accuse the comedian of sexual misconduct. At the time, the Montgomery County district attorney declined to pursue charges. Constand later sued Cosby and they settled out of court for undisclosed terms in 2006.