Bill Cosby Charged in Sexual Assault Case

Bill Cosby, who has for decades been pursued by allegations of sexual misconduct, was charged with sexual assault in Pennsylvania on Wednesday in a case that many people, including women who had come forward publicly, long thought prosecutors would never bring.

The criminal charges stem from a woman’s accusation that he drugged and sexually abused her at his home in a suburb north of Philadelphia in 2004.

Kevin Steele, the Montgomery County district attorney-elect, said that Mr. Cosby faces felony charges of indecent assault. He said the investigation involved a “relationship” between Mr. Cosby and the woman, Andrea Constand, that came about from her work with the basketball team at Temple University, Mr. Cosby’s alma mater.

Mr. Cosby became a “mentor” and “friend” to Ms. Constand,

Mr. Steele said, and in early 2004 she went to his home in Cheltenham Township. According to the accusations, Mr. Cosby urged her to take pills and drink wine until she was unable to move, after which he assaulted her.

“The evidence is strong and sufficient to proceed,” said Mr. Steele, now first assistant district attorney. “A person in that state cannot give consent,” he added.

The criminal charges followed a year of tumult in Mr. Cosby’s career as dozens of women accused him of sexually assaulting them. Many of those women cheered the decision to prosecute Mr. Cosby, the entertainer who was once revered as a father figure and popular moralist.

Lawyers for Mr. Cosby, 78, who has long denied the many accusations and had never before been criminally charged, had only recently spoken of how he had been harmed as universities and Disney World retracted honors they had bestowed on him.

The lawyers said they would fight the charges.

“Make no mistake, we intend to mount a vigorous defense against this unjustified charge and we expect that Mr. Cosby will be exonerated by a court of law,” Monique Pressley, one of his lawyers, said in a statement.

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Source: The New York Time

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