AFRICANGLOBE – Actor and comedian Bill Cosby is helped as he leaves a court appearance, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Elkins Park, Pa. Cosby was arrested and charged with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home in January 2004. He did not have to enter a plea and was allowed to remain free on $1 million bail for another hearing January 14.
Then-District Attorney Bruce Castor declined to charge Cosby, saying at the time that both the TV star and his accuser could be portrayed in “a less than flattering light”. “Filed 12 years after the asserted occurrence & coming on the heels of a hotly contested election for this county’s DA throughout which this case was made the focus”.
Cosby, who personified the model American family man in his long-running hit television show, was charged with aggravated indecent assault, a second-degree felony carrying a maximum penalty of 5 to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Holding a cane, Cosby walked slowly and unsteadily into court on the arms of his lawyers to answer the charges against him. The 78-year-old “Cosby Show” star previously said under oath that he had consensual sexual contact with Constand.
Prosecutors in court documents cited Cosby’s “evasive and conflicting identifications of the drug he gave the victim” as a key factor in their decision to charge him.
Cosby was hit earlier this month with a new defamation suit in federal court in Boston filed by former Las Vegas showgirl Kathrine Mae McKee – who claims Cosby raped her in a hotel room in Detroit in 1974.
Constand, now 42 and living in Toronto, first lodged her accusations against Cosby in 2005, when she told Cheltenham police that he drugged and assaulted her a year earlier while she was working as the operations manager for Temple University’s women’s basketball team. “Rather, reopening this case was our duty as law enforcement officers with a sworn obligation to uphold our constitutions and to uphold the law”. The TV star acknowledged under oath a decade ago that he had sexual contact with Constand but said it was consensual.
The changes come amid an uproar over shootings by police, including one in which a white officer shot a Black teenager 16 times. Last weekend, the department faced further criticism after an officer “accidentally” shot and killed 55-year-old Bettie Jones.
“Probably it is going to be the highest-profile criminal case in this country, at least involving a celebrity”, she said. U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno unsealed Cosby’s deposition regarding the decade-old case this summer, in which he admitted to giving Quaaludes to a woman with whom he wanted to have sex, according to the deposition.
“Ms. Serignese has said she did not consent”, he said.
On Wednesday, Cosby received his first criminal charge associated with the more than 50 rape accusations against him. She initially alleged the comedian gave her pills and wine and then took advantage of her in 2004 while they were in his Pennsylvania home.
Hours after he attended a district court outside Philadelphia, Cosby’s lawyers called the criminal case against him “unjustified”. Once she was unconscious from the drugs, she claims he assaulted her. “I am very happy that this day has finally come”, she said.
“A woman who says he groped her at a party, that may not come in”, Los Angeles-based celebrity defense attorney Mark McBride said.
In the deposition, Cosby said he fondled Constand that night, taking her silence as a green light.
“I think my first thought was finally”, said Jennifer Storm. “Upon examination of all the evidence, today we are able to seek justice on behalf of Mr. Cosby’s victim”.