Bill Cosby has been charged with sexual assault in Montgomery County Pennsylvania. This is the first charge after Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by as many as 60 women.
The official charge is second-degree aggravated indecent assault. Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele defined the act as “penetration” without the consent of his victim, former Temple University employee Andrea Constand. If convicted, Cosby could face five to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
“The evidence is strong and sufficient enough to proceed with the charges,” Steele said. “Pills were provided. Wine was provided. The victim was frozen, paralyzed. A person in that condition is not able to give consent,” Steele added.
The case dates from 2004, and under Pennsylvania law, prosecutors have a 12-year deadline to bring charges in a sexual assault case. The statute of limitations is due to expire at the end of January.
Constand accused Cosby in 2005, alleging he drugged and sexually assaulted her when she visited his then home in Montgomery County outside Philadelphia in 2004. But the then-county prosecutor declined to charge him, saying there was not enough evidence by the time she went to police.
Constant then filed a civil suit which was settled out of court. The settlement was sealed as was a deposition by Cosby. But after recent multiple accusations, a judge released part of the deposition.
In the deposition, Cosby admitted under questioning that he obtained drugs, including Quaaludes, to give to women he sought for sex.
Cosby denied all accusations and stated that what happened with Constant was consensual.