Bill Cosby has been charged with sexual assault after former Temple University employee Andrea Constand told police he drugged and violated her at his home near Philadelphia.
Cosby pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on Wednesday afternoon in the first criminal charges brought against him. He was released on $1 million bond.
If convicted, Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison.
Here’s an excerpt of press release from the Montgomery County DA’s office about Bill Cosby:
The charges filed today are a result of new information that came to light beginning in July 2015. After determining the statute of limitations regarding the potential criminal offense had not yet expired, an investigation was reopened. The statute of limitation for aggravated indecent assault is twelve years from the incident.
“A prosecutor’s job is to follow the evidence wherever it leads and whenever it comes to light,” said First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, in announcing the charges. “Upon examination of all of the evidence, today we are able to seek justice on behalf of Mr. Cosby’s victim.”
According to the affidavit, the victim was a guest of Cosby at his home located at 8210 New Second Street in Cheltenham on the night of the incident. In the course of the evening, Cosby provided the victim with wine and three blue pills. At Cosby’s urging, the victim ingested wine and water along with the blue pills. Shortly thereafter, the victim became incapacitated, and Cosby led her to a couch. The victim lay down on the couch, and Cosby positioned himself behind her. Cosby then fondled the victim’s breasts, put his hands inside her pants, and penetrated her vagina with his fingers. During the assault, Cosby also put her hand on his erect penis. The victim did not consent to any of these acts and reported that she was unable to move or speak and felt “frozen” and “paralyzed.”
Within a few months of the incident, the victim moved back to her native Canada where she resided with her mother. In January 2005, the victim disclosed to her mother for the first time what Cosby had done to her. The victim and her mother reported the incident to local Canadian authorities who, in turn, notified authorities in Pennsylvania. On January 22, 2005 the victim gave a statement to the police indicating what had happened to her, including the vaginal penetration by Cosby. The initial investigation into this incident was reviewed by the former District Attorney and resulted in the February 17, 2005, announcement that no criminal charges were forthcoming.
On July 6, 2015, U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno, pursuant to a motion from the Associated Press, unsealed certain legal filings that contained references to a deposition by Cosby in a civil case. Judge Robreno released materials in part because Cosby has a diminished privacy interest and this diminished interest is outweighed by the public interest in gaining access to his deposition testimony. The release of these documents in July and the subsequent release of Cosby’s deposition caused the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office to reopen the case. After reviewing the initial investigation, re-interviewing some witnesses, examining other evidence in the civil case and information from other alleged victims, it was determined that the evidence warranted the filing of criminal charges against Cosby.