Bill Cosby Officially Charged With Sexual Assault Regarding 2004 Incident
Bill Cosby, who has been accused multiple times of sexually assaulting women over several decades, was officially charged in relation to a 2004 incident in Pennsylvania. Montgomery County assistant district attorney Kevin R. Steele made the announcement Wednesday morning, saying the charge is first-degree aggravated indecent assault.
The alleged incident occurred at Cosby's Philadelphia mansion in 2004. The alleged victim is Andrea Constand, a former employee at Temple University, Cosby's alma mater. Through her lawyer, she expressed gratitude that charges have finally been brought.
Steele alleged that Cosby had invited Constand back to his home to offer her career advice. While there, he gave her pills and wine; then, when she was unable to resist, he digitally penetrated her:
Pills were provided. Wine was provided. The victim was frozen, paralyzed. A person in that condition is not able to give consent. ... The evidence is strong and sufficient enough to proceed with the charges. ... Today, after examination of all the evidence, we are able to seek justice on behalf of the victim.
The charges were filed just days before the 12-year statute of limitations was set to run out. Cosby, now 78, faces a long list of legal battles ahead, all stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct. Most of the women who claim to have been assaulted by the comedian are from the entertainment field, particularly acting and modeling. However, unlike Constand's claim, many -- though not all -- of those incidents allegedly occurred beyond the statute of limitations, preventing formal charges against Cosby.
Constand first accused Cosby of assault in 2005, but the then-district attorney dropped the charges due to what he claimed was a lack of evidence. She also filed a civil lawsuit in 2006, which was settled out of court.
Cosby and his legal team have yet to respond to Wednesday's charges.