Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bill Cosby Charged With Felony Assault

Bill Cosby was arraigned in court on Wednesday on a felony assault charge stemming from a sexual encounter with a woman 12 years ago.
In a spotted gray sweater with a hood, Cosby was walked into the brick courthouse in Elkins Park, Pa., with a man and a woman flanking him on either side. The comedian held a briefcase, and cane, and he nearly tripped on the sidewalk outside the courthouse entrance as cameras caught his every move.
Cosby posted 10 percent of a $1 million bail in cash.
"These charges stem from a sexual assault that took place on an evening in early 2004 at Mr. Cosby’s home," Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a press conference. "Mr. Cosby is charged with aggravated indecent assault."
Aggravated indecent assault is punishable by up to 10 years behind bars.
A former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, told police the comedian drugged and violated her at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

"Mr. Cosby made two sexual advances at her that were rejected," Steele said. "Mr. Cosby urged her to take pills that he provided to her and to drink wine... He committed aggravated indecent assault against her."
She was "frozen, paralyzed, unable to move," Steele said in announcing the charges.
The once-celebrated actor previously said under oath in a deposition that he had consensual sexual contact with Constand.
In the deposition, Cosby said he put his hands down Constand's pants that night and fondled her, taking her silence as a green light. Constand maintains she was semi-conscious after he gave her pills he said would relax her.
Her lawyer has said Constand is gay and was dating a woman around the time she met Cosby in the early 2000s.
A previous district attorney declined to charge Cosby in 2005.
Regarding how the case was previously handled, Steele simply stated, "I’m not going to look at the past… It’s not a time to Monday morning quarterback."
Prosecutors reopened the case over the summer as damaging testimony was unsealed in a related civil lawsuit against Cosby and as dozens of other women came forward with similar accusations that made a mockery of his image as the wise and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable from TV's "The Cosby Show."
Many of those alleged assaults date back decades, and the statute of limitations for bringing charges has expired in nearly every case. But Pennsylvania law gives prosecutors up to 12 years for some sex crimes, with the clock running out on this case in January.
"This is the charge that we have the ability to go forward [with] under that statute of limitations," Steele said of the aggravated indecent assault charge.
Steele urged other victims or people with more information about Cosby to come forward and contact police.
"There are other alleged victims, and we are examining evidence in that," he said. "The charge that we are [announcing] here today involves one victim."
Constand settled her lawsuit against Cosby in 2006 on confidential terms.
Lawyers for Cosby and the victim did not immediately return FOX411's requests for comment.
The AP generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they agree to have their names published, as Constand has done.

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